Hamilton County: Copperhead death in East Ridge attributed to anaphylactic shock

A man who died shortly after being bitten by a copperhead snake Saturday is believed to have been killed by anaphylactic shock, police said.

The death certificate for Wade Westbrook, 26, lists his cause of death to be anaphylactic shock due to a snake bite, according to a report from East Ridge Police spokesman Erik Hopkins.

A police report said that Westbrook's wife and a friend - who brought the copperhead over - did not call for help right away because Westbrook had been bit by a copperhead and other snakes before.

The report states that, after receiving the bite, Westbrook "tried to extract the venom with a devenomization tool" before vomiting and collapsing on the living room floor.

An autopsy will not be performed because the snake bite was a witnessed event and the cause of death is not in question, Hopkins said.

Investigators still are working to determine the exact chain of events that led up to Mr. Westbrook's death.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press.