Respected snake researcher dies from rattlesnake bite

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — A respected snake researcher who’d been making significant discoveries about the species since childhood has died after being bitten by a timber rattler. William H. “Marty” Martin died Aug. 3 after being bitten by a captive snake on the property at his home in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Martin was 80 years old and continued to make arduous mountain hikes to document and count snake populations in remote sites. Snakebite fatalities are extremely rare; the Centers for Disease Control estimates that about five people die in the U.S. from snakebites each year.