News

Yeppoon worker dies after being bitten by Taipan

Darren Patterson

AN ERGON Energy employee died almost instantly after being bitten by a deadly snake while out on a job in central Queensland.

Yeppoon crew leader Andrew Vaughan was working his way through dense bushland on Friday with a backhoe operator trying to beat a path to a pole that needed maintenance work.

During the work, Mr Vaughan lost contact with the crew, who raised the alarm as soon as they realised, according to an internal email sent out to Ergon Energy staff by operations executive general manager Peter Billing, who called the death "tragic".

Mr Vaughan was already dead by the time he was found after a huge search by the police, SES volunteers and Ergon Energy employees.

It has been confirmed by Ergon Energy he died from a Taipan snake bite, Brisbane Times reported.

Meanwhile, in Mackay, a man has told of killing a taipan, saying he had no choice  after the coastal taipan reared up to its full height and prepared to strike.

"He was going to have me and I thought I'm better off having you," Ron Lean, of Pleystowe told the Daily Mercury.

With no other option, Mr Lean grabbed a piece of nearby fencing wire and struck the snake on the head, killing it instantly.

While it is an offence to kill, injure or take snakes from the wild, there are exceptions made for cases like Mr Lean's.

Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection manager wildlife operations Mike Devery said if a person was defending themselves from a venomous snake and there was no other option, a defence is available under the Queensland Criminal Code for acts done in extraordinary circumstances.

"If the department was investigating an incident, it would consider the circumstances under which a snake was killed," Mr Devery said.

Mr Lean said he and his wife Jo had just returned home on Friday night and were sitting in their car in the driveway when they noticed the snake lying near a frog pond.

"I hopped out of the car to have a look at him," Mr Lean said. "I was three metres away or more and he stood right up in the air, nearly his full height.

"He was definitely about to strike me, no two ways about it."

The Leans used a snake identification book to confirm it was a taipan, and not a more common eastern brown.

Topics:  death, ergon energy, snake bite, taipan


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Spot Migaloo the white whale on the Sunshine Coast soon

Get the binoculars at the ready.

Thursday is the day Migaloo is expected to pass by

The billionaire who holds a golf club’s fate in his hands

Malaysian businessman Seng Huang Lee.

The future of golf in Peregian Springs hangs in the balance

Latest deals and offers

Is it you, Migaloo?

CONFUSION has erupted over whether the white whale travelling up the east coast of Australia is really Migaloo.

Spot Migaloo the white whale on the Sunshine Coast soon

Get the binoculars at the ready.

Thursday is the day Migaloo is expected to pass by

The billionaire who holds a golf club’s fate in his hands

Malaysian businessman Seng Huang Lee.

The future of golf in Peregian Springs hangs in the balance

Grieving student honours late teacher who helped her to read

Flowers lay in front of the home where Coolum State School teacher Kylie Allen was fatally injured in a house fire.

Police confirm victim as Coolum State School teacher Kylie Allen

Motivated students go bush for the holidays.

HAPPY CAMPERS: Seamus Cunningham, Codi Baker-Lahey, Lawson Wrigley, Jake Galczynski and Brianna Maltman camped in the Cooloola wilderness for three nights.

Students worked to complete their Duke of Edinburgh Award

Dr Karl, Barnaby Joyce and 'how to unf*** the planet'

Dr Karl will be at Splendour in the Grass 2016.

Controversy and laughs at Splendour in the Grass panels and forums

Rob Kardashian 'neglected' by Blac Chyna

Friends say they are now 'back in love'

Isla Fisher: I don't like talking about my private life

Isla Fisher shut down TV hosts when they asked about her husband

Mariah Carey: I 'can't believe' Prince has gone

'Prince was one of the best people I've met'

Joe Jonas' 'tough' pals

Joe Jonas' pals are 'tough' with his potential partners

The Bachelor wash up: bacon, plank offs and that white rose

Richie Strahan, second from left, with bachelorettes Eliza, Faith, Noni and Janey in a scene from episode one of the fourth season of The Bachelor.

RICHIE Strahan meets some beautiful, and colourful, bachelorettes.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles