DUNCANSVILLE - A Hollidaysburg couple got one more item than they bargained for at a yard sale Wednesday, and it came back to bite them.
Amber Thalhouser was driving on Interstate 99 in Duncansville with Donald Forshey when a snake apparently sneaked out from among stuff they'd purchased - including a weed trimmer and a milk crate full of items - slithered up front and nipped Forshey on the lower leg, Borough Police Chief James Ott said.
Forshey tried to pin the serpent to the floor with a crutch - he'd recently had an operation - and Thalhouser pulled to the shoulder of the road before they both bailed out, state Trooper David Nazaruk said.
Mirror photo by William Kibler
Police officers search for a snake that bit the passenger in a vehicle traveling Wednesday on Interstate 99.
They called 911, and authorities who came "tore apart" the car looking for the snake, without success, Nazaruk said.
The wound was minor, although an ambulance came as a precaution, Nazaruk said.
"He seems to be all right," Nazaruk said.
The brownish-colored snake was about 2 feet long and 1 inches thick, said Nazaruk, citing the couple's description.
Officials speculated it could have been a garter snake or maybe a copperhead, Nazaruk said.
If it was a copperhead, its bite during the scuffle was slight enough that it apparently didn't result in an injection of venom, Nazaruk said.
"He might have been incredibly lucky," Nazaruk said of Forshey.
A friend Forshey called to the scene who's not afraid of snakes was planning to drive the car to Thalhouser's residence, where he could search more thoroughly in such places as ductwork for the vents, Ott said.
The couple was going to drive the friend's car back, he said.
Officials had limited tools and a less-than-ideal workplace for a proper search along the highway, Ott said.
After a discussion with a state wildlife conservation officer, Ott concluded the snake was probably a garter, especially because it had straight green markings in a line down its back.
Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.