MIDDLESBORO, Ky. – Jamie Coots, a snake-handling Kentucky pastor who appeared on the National Geographic television reality show Snake Salvation, died Saturday after being bitten by a snake.
Coots was handling a rattlesnake during a Saturday night service at his Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church in Middlesboro when he was bitten, another preacher, Cody Winn, told WBIR-TV.
Jamie went across the floor. He had one of the rattlers in his hand, he came over and he was standing beside me. It was plain view, it just turned its head and bit him in the back of the hand within a second, Winn said.
When an ambulance arrived at the church at 8:30 p.m., they were told Coots had gone home, the Middlesboro Police Department said in a statement. Contacted at his house, Coots refused medical treatment.
Emergency workers left about 9:10 p.m. When they returned about an hour later, Coots was dead from a venomous snake bite, police said.