Amazon driver in serious condition after rattlesnake bite in Florida

<span>Photograph: Yuri Cortéz/AFP/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Yuri Cortéz/AFP/Getty Images

A Florida Amazon delivery driver is in serious condition after being bitten by an eastern diamondback rattlesnake.

The driver was delivering a package to a home in Palm City on Monday when she was bitten by the snake which was coiled up near the front door of the delivery location, according to the Martin county sheriff’s office (MCSO) in south-eastern Florida.

Upon walking up to the door and placing the package on the ground, the driver was “struck by the snake in the back of the leg, just above the knee”, authorities said in a press statement.

“She immediately became ill and called 911. Dispatchers were able to pinpoint the victim’s exact location through cellphone GPS coordinates, then send help. She was transported to the hospital where she is in very serious condition,” they added.

Local reports have identified the delivery driver as 21-year-old Monet Robinson.

Speaking to Fox 35 Orlando, MCSO’s chief deputy, John Budensiek, said that she was transported to a local hospital and authorities euthanized the snake on the spot out of an “abundance of caution, knowing that there’s a lot of smaller dogs and animals … children [and] other humans” around the area.

The eastern diamondback rattlesnake has been described as the largest venomous snake in North America, with some reaching up to 8ft in length and weighing up to 10lb. It can be recognized by the diamond-shaped pattern along its back as well as the black bands that cover its eyes.

The snake is typically blackish-gray, olive green or muddy gray, and has a tail that ranges from brown to gray with dark rings, according to the Smithsonian’s national zoo.

This type of snake typically lives in dry, pine flatwoods, sandy woodlands and coastal scrub habitats spanning from southern North Carolina to Florida as well as Louisiana, according to National Geographic.

The snake can strike as far as two-thirds of its body length, the Smithsonian’s national zoo said. The eastern diamondback snake’s venom is a hemotoxin, a toxin that destroys red blood cells and can cause organ degeneration and tissue damage. Although their bites can be extremely painful and fatal, human deaths as a result of the bite are rare due to the prevalence of antivenom that is available throughout the snake’s habitat range.

In a statement to People, an Amazon spokesperson said that their “thoughts are with the driver” and that they hope for a “full recovery after this frightening incident.

“Together, with the delivery service partner, we’re looking into the circumstances surrounding this incident and continue to make sure that drivers understand they should not complete a delivery if they feel unsafe,” Amazon added.