Tarantula on roadway causes crash involving international tourists in Death Valley

ByABC7.com staff KABC logo
Tuesday, October 31, 2023
Creepy-crawly crossing road causes crash in Death Valley
A tarantual crossing the road in Death Valley led to a crash involving tourists from Switzerland and Canada.

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. -- The average tarantula is about 5 inches long, slow moving and not a threat to humans - or vehicles.

But when international tourists spotted one crossing the road in Death Valley, California, they braked suddenly, causing a crash that sent a motorcyclist to the hospital.

The National Park Service said the incident happened the afternoon of Oct. 28.

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A Swiss couple was driving in Death Valley National Park when they saw the fuzzy little arachnid crawling across the roadway. They jammed on the brakes to avoid hitting it, and a motorcyclist crashed into the back of their rented camper van.

The 24-year-old Canadian man on the motorcycle was transported by National Park Service ambulance to a hospital.

The NPS is cautioning visitors to drive slowly in Death Valley National Park, especially on steep hills. Many of the roads still have gravel patches from flood damage caused by California's very wet winter, and there are plenty of critters of all sizes out and about in the park.

And yes, in case you were worried about the tarantula, the NPS reassured: "The spider walked away unscathed."