Death report: W.Va. preacher died from snake bite

PRINCETON (AP) — A medical examiner has confirmed that a snake-handling West Virginia preacher died from a venomous snake bite.

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports that a death certificate filed in Mercer County lists Mack Randall Wolford’s death as the result of “rattlesnake envenomation” — the injection of venom by snake bite.

The death certificate adds that 44-year-old Wolford was handling a timber rattlesnake at the time of his death.

Wolford followed his father into the rare practice of handling snakes, and the elder Wolford also died in 1983 after suffering a snake bite.

Witnesses said the younger Wolford was handling a timber rattler during a Sunday service at Panther State Forest in late May.

Born in Pike County, Ky., Wolford lived in the Bramwell area of West Virginia.

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