La Jolla man dies after being bitten by rattler in East County


By City News Service

A 67-year-old La Jolla man died from a rattlesnake bite he suffered while wading through an East Country stream as part of a trout study near Cuyamaca Reservoir, it was reported Sunday.

William “Skip” Price, reportedly an avid fly fisherman, was wearing water sandals when he was bitten on one foot by the rattler along Boulder Creek Wednesday, Gary Strawn of Santee, one of five people with Price, told The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Strawn said Price stopped breathing within minutes, and he and others performed CPR for about 20 minutes until paramedics arrived.

A sheriff’s helicopter took Price to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, where he was declared dead about 1 p.m., according to the county Medical Examiner’s Office.

Strawn, conservation chairman of San Diego Fly Fishers, said he met Price that morning when they and four other fly-fishing volunteers carpooled out Boulder Creek Road, in the Pine Hills area northeast of Cuyamaca Reservoir, to take part in a study of native steelhead trout.

Price was bitten within minutes of starting the survey as he stepped over logs and boulders along the streambed, Strawn said.

Strawn said he never saw the snake, “but it must have been a big one. The bite marks on top of his foot were an inch and a half across.”