What happened when the spider crossed the road? It sounds like the start of a joke, but in Death Valley last week, it had serious consequences — well, mildly serious.
According to the National Parks Service, a Swiss traveler driving a camper van braked suddenly on October 28 to avoid hitting a tarantula crossing the road, causing a 24-year-old Canadian man on a motorcycle to crash into the back of the van.
Although the Canadian biker only suffered minor injuries, he had to be transported to a Nevada hospital for treatment. However, the parks service is using the incident to warn visitors about such road hazards.
The Parks Service explained that tarantulas are slow-moving and nonaggressive. They spend most of their lives — which can last up to 10 years for males and 25 years for females —living mostly underground.
In a statement, Superintendent Mike Reynolds, who was the first NPS employee on the scene of the accident, warned visitors to drive “slowly, especially going down steep hills in the park.”
“Our roads still have gravel patches due to flood damage, and wildlife of all sizes are out,” Reynolds said.
And if you’re curious about whose at fault in all of this — the Swiss traveler, Canadian biker, or tarantula, Death Valley spokeswoman Abby Wines told Travel Awaits: “No one involved in this was ticketed – not even the jaywalking spider.”