Copperhead bite kills St. Charles man

A St. Charles man is dead after being bitten by a copperhead snake while camping with his family in southeast Missouri. File Photo

UPDATE: July 11, 2014, 5:25 p.m.

A St. Charles man is dead after he was bitten by a copperhead snake.

It happened while he was camping with his son at a state park near Cape Girardeau.

Timothy Levins, 52, died Tuesday night from a copperhead snakebite. Levins picked up the snake near a Southeast Missouri cabin while camping. Matt Nokes of Jefferson City likes to take his son Carter to the Runge Nature Center where a live copperhead is on display. Nokes said they see a lot snakes when they go camping.

Nokes said, â??Weâ??re kind of scared of little green snakes. It is what it is and we donâ??t mess with any of them.â??

Levinsâ?? death is only the third one from a copperhead bite in the stateâ??s history.

Conservation agents said snakebite deaths are very rare. They said you are more likely to die from a lightning strike or slipping and falling on ice. Agents said you if you see a poisonous snake, give it plenty of space.

Runge Nature Center spokeswoman Robin Grumm said, â??We want people to be curious about animals. We want people to be curious about all nature here in Missouri because we have an abundance, but be respectful and leave it alone. Donâ??t ever pick up any wildlife and that includes snakes.â??

If you are bit by a poisonous snake, try to remain calm and stay still. The more your heart beats, the more the venom circulates through your body.

Snake bites are most common when people try to pick them up, handle them, harass them or kill them.


A St. Charles man is dead after being bitten by a copperhead snake while camping with his family in southeast Missouri.

Wayne County Sheriff Dean Finch says 52-year-old Timothy Levins died Tuesday evening after being bitten at Sam A. Baker State Park. Finch says it is the third known death in Missouri by the bite of a copperhead. The others were in the 1960s and in 2012.

Finch says Levins was at a cabin, saw the snake and pointed it out to his son. The snake, 18 to 20 inches long, bit Levins two or three times after he picked it up.

After Levins became ill, someone in a neighboring cabin started CPR and an ambulance was called. Levin was pronounced dead at a hospital in Poplar Bluff.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.