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Man dies after being bitten by rattlesnake on Black Hills golf course

SPEARFISH, S.D. -- The death of an Illinois man who died from a prairie rattlesnake bite while golfing  last week in the Black Hills is being called a “tragic fluke.”

Lawrence Walters, 70, died at the Spearfish hospital after he was bit while looking for a ball in the rough at the Elkhorn Ridge Golf Club.

Mike Mendelson, club professional at the golf course, said it’s extremely rare for someone to die from a prairie rattlesnake bite as the snake isn’t known to be to be poisonous enough to kill someone.

“It was just a fluke,” he said.

He said no one else has ever been bit at the course since it opened in 2009. The club does have signs in the area where Walters was bit warning of rattlesnakes. The man had been staying at the nearby Elkhorn Ridge RV Park.

The incident occurred last Monday, June 4, about 5 p.m.