Some people have a serious case of arachnophobia, as evidenced by stories like the person who burned down their house to kill a spider. Just about as crazy and perhaps even sadder, a motorist in Death Valley reportedly caused an accident that hospitalized a motorcyclist all because of a tarantula.
No, the spider wasn’t on the driver or climbing up the steering wheel, that would be too understandable of a reason to cause a crash. Instead, as reported by KRQE, the people driving in their camper van suddenly slammed on the brakes because they saw the spider crossing the road.
That sudden brake check caused a motorcyclist behind them to slam into the back of their vehicle. Because the 24-year-old rider hit the camper van so hard, he was reportedly transported to the hospital in unknown condition.
Since the accident happened in a National Park, National Park Service Superintendent Mike Reynolds asked that people slow down while driving in the park. He noted flood damage has left patches of gravel on the park’s roads and that “wildlife of all sizes are out.”
As we’ve said before, if you do see a wild animal on the road the worst thing you can do is make a sudden, erratic movement like swerving into oncoming traffic or slamming on the brakes. Sadly, those split second decisions can lead to fatal accidents sometimes, although that thankfully wasn’t the case this time.
Despite what some may think, tarantulas move slowly and in general aren’t aggressive. Like many wild animals, they’ll in general leave humans alone, preferring to spend most of their time underground. Fall is the most likely time to see tarantulas out and about in the desert since it’s mating season.
There was no word on if the tarantula in question was hurt.
Image via Josie Alheli Holgado Tupa