by Jamie Burch & Olivia DiVenti
ABILENE, Texas — An Abilene man was bitten by a rattlesnake on Sunday and started to drive himself to the hospital.
Jeff Utter, 59, told KTXS he was picking vegetables in his garden at his house on Lake Fort Phantom when he was bitten on his hand.
Utter said the snake was about three and a half feet long. He didn't kill it because he got in his car and started driving to Hendrick Medical Center as he called 911.
But Utter didn't make it that far. He said the dispatcher asked him to pull over. So, he pulled over to the side of the road at Westlake and Nugent and waited for the ambulance.
The ambulance took him the rest of the way.
Utter said he's received six vials of anti-venom so far. Doctors told him it will take six more for the swelling to subside.
"My first rattlesnake bite. I'm a REAL Texan now," said Utter.
Utter is at least the fourth person in Taylor County to be bitten by a rattlesnake in the last couple of weeks.