Cruel twist to Jimmy’s life and death brown snake incident
DRIVING home from work on the Dawson Highway became a life and death situation for 'Jimmy' Canhan last month, when a deadly brown snake repeatedly tried to bite him while doing 100km/h.
In a cruel twist of fate, today the Boyne Island resident, 27, was sacked from his job as a technician over the incident.
"My boss called me and said I didn't have a job anymore, when I was just spending time with my daughter Annabelle, who lives with her mum in Townsville, and didn't have work on anyway," he said.
Still fuelled with adrenaline about the June 16 incident, James said it was a 'fight or flight moment'.
"I was facing death either way," he said.
"I had this deadly snake striking at me, or I could have jumped out of the car at 100 and died.
"I just had to calculate my own survival, it was just the primal instinct that came to me.
"I had no other thoughts in my head but get this thing out of here."
The snake must have got into his car at his last job of the day, when he left his door open.
"It was like something out of the Chamber of Secrets was sitting on my passenger seat, it was massive," he said.
"It just unfurled like this octopus as soon as it knew I knew it was there, and it was on!
"It was behind my calf muscle wrapping around my shin, and it was as long as back up to the gear stick, with enough room to strike at me, it was huge.
"When I pushed the clutch in with my left leg it was behind my leg, so it put pressure on it.
"So I was stuck at 100km/h and I couldn't even change gears to slow down.
"I was coming from Biloela, back to Calliope and I had done a job at the Three Moon Air B and B and when I walked back to my ute after finishing the job and my car doors were open, so it must have snuck in there then."
Desperate to save his own life, adrenaline kicked in.
"I just grabbed the sharpest, trustiest weapon I could find and used the seatbelt between me and it to at least have some sort of striking shield," he said.
"The snake was lightning fast, I've never seen a snake acting like it, I was so shocked.
"Every time I tried to grab hold of it, it would move to a different spot, it was that quick.
"It just kept on striking at me so I just pinned it between the seat and my leg with my hands and drove the knife into it.
Finally he could slow down from 100km/h.
"I got out of the car and it was still moving and I didn't know if I had been bitten or not," he said.
"So I grabbed my work jacket and when it had slowed down a lot I picked it up and threw it in the back of the ute."
Then began the race to the hospital.
"I was going along at a rapid rate wondering how long I had to live," he said.
"I came around a corner and the police got me doing 123km/h in a 100 zone.
"The police officer was really good when he saw the snake in the back of the ute.
"I just wanted something to take to the hospital to show them what may have bitten me."
The police officer let James off a speeding fine, but captured the incident on his body cam, which has since gone viral.
"When I got the all clear, I was so relieved," he said.
"But even now when I think about it, my blood gets pumping."
Dedicated to his job and a hard worker, James said being sacked was a bitter pill to swallow.
"I rang up to schedule some more work and they said no, we're coming to get the company car," he said.
"I had a company car, so I sold my own car and now I'm left with nothing to drive.
"So now I've got no job and I have my daughter to help support.
"My dog needs to go to vet for his ear, and I just want to get my finances sorted out to pay for it."
James said he was prepared to do any type of work.
"I have worked with NRW Civil and Mining, I have done machine work, I have done just about everything.
"From bar tending to installing the NBN.
"I have a lot of customer experience because I have served clients in this region for over five years.
"I obtained a platinum customer service rating with the company I was with."
Anyone who wants to employ Jimmy can contact him at email@example.com.