London, KY - 7 Nov 2006: Woman Fatally Bitten by Snake in Church

A woman from this small town midway between Lexington, KY and Knoxville, TN was proounced dead on Sunday, 5 Nov, about four hours after she was struck by a serpent.

The snake was reportedly a timber rattlesnake, croatalus horridus.

A detective with the Laurel County Sheriff's Office said that Linda Long, 48, was attending a service at East London Holiness Church, which reportedly practices serpent handling. Handling reptiles as part of religious services is a misdemeanor in Kentucky, punishable by a small fine.

More information is available from First Coast News and AP, via the San Francisco Chronicle.