VAN BUREN, MO (KFVS) - Terry Brown and his family decided to spend a week camping at in Van Buren for the Fourth of July and his birthday.
Friends on the other side of the camp screamed about a snake being in their tent. Brown raced over to the tent and he tried to get the snake out. The snake bit his hand and he fell on his knees. His family rushed him to get help. Brown died nine hours later.
Brown's wife Ilene was upset that this happened.
She says the family is in shock because he had no pre-existing heart conditions and had dealt with snakes on their Ellsinore property his entire life.
"It shouldn't have happened. I know accidents happened, but it just shocked the whole family. They are all just devastated over it. It was his 50th birthday," Ilene Brown said.
Brown's family wants to warn others that even though it is rare a snake bite can kill you. The family is overwhelmed by the efforts of everyone in Carter County who helped pay for the funeral expenses.
"Don't mess with snakes stay completely away because you never know. We never knew that was gonna happen to him because he's used to it," Ilene Brown said.
Conservation officials says Brown's death is only the state's second fatality resulting from a copperhead bite.