Boy recovering after ATV crash and rattlesnake bite

Williamson County

GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — The woman who helped tend to a 12-year-old who crashed a four-wheeler, then was bitten by a rattlesnake Saturday says he’s expected to be okay.

Tamberly Janke says the boy was driving, with his 16-year-old cousin on the back when they were thrown off of the ATV near her home on Live Oak Trail in Georgetown.

“I saw him and the older boy on the four-wheeler come through the fence,” she said, showing the hole in her fence. Janke says the four-wheeler flipped and struck a tree. She says the older boy landed 60 feet away.

The younger boy hit a tree, which Janke says stopped his momentum. “He landed on the base of a grove of trees, on top of the snake, with his broken leg.”

Janke says the 16-year-old only had minor injuries, so she and her husband focused their attention on the 12-year-old. Janke says when her husband Stephen ran over to help, he realized the boy had landed on top of a foot-long rattlesnake.

I have to kill the snake!

“I was on the phone with the 911 operator, trying to clarify our address, and the only thing out of Stephen’s mouth was ‘Kill the snake! Kill the snake!'” Janke recalled. “So I told the 911 operator, “Hold on, I have to kill the snake!’”

Janke says she and her husband beat the snake to death with pieces of their fence that had broken off during the crash. Investigators told her the boy did suffer a snake bite before they got to it. 

She says DPS updated her on the boy’s condition on Tuesday, telling her he had been in the ICU, but was recovering well and would be okay. She said he suffered multiple fractures, including a broken hip and a broken leg.

“He’s doing so well, they think he’s going to be out soon and back home to finish healing,” Janke says.

Janke says she believes the boy caught a lucky break in his unlucky accident. She says she and her husband had originally planned to be out of town for the weekend but ended up staying home, and just happened to be outside in their driveway when the crash happened.

“Everything happens for a reason. For us to be standing there at the moment of the accident and to be able to help him even with the snake, if we hadn’t been there, even though we had neighbors nearby, it could have been so different. So, we just thank God that we were.”

Janke says the boy seemed to be driving fast, and neither he nor the 16-year-old were wearing a helmet.

The Texas Department of Safety is investigating the crash. No further details have been released at this time.

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