South Carolina

Conservationist dies after snake bite at SC wildlife refuge

SANTEE, S.C. (AP) — Authorities say a 71-year-old conservationist has died after being bit by a rattlesnake near Lake Marion.

Clarendon County Coroner Hayes Samuels said that venom from the rattlesnake caused Wayne Grooms' death.

The coroner says Grooms also had a medical condition, so autopsy results were needed to determine what killed the conservationist.

Samuels says Grooms was bitten on the leg Sunday afternoon at the Santee National Wildlife Refuge near Santee and died about 15 minutes later as a friend tried to help him to a car.

Grooms was a commissioner for the Lexington County Soil and Water Conservation district. Friends say he was an avid outdoorsman.

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