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Stranger steps in when snake spotted on dashboard

May 13 (UPI) -- A North Carolina woman said a stranger and her son came to the rescue when she spotted a long, black snake slithering across her dashboard.

Gail Henderson, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, said she was driving May 6 on North Carolina Highway 54 en route to Walgreens when she spotted the 3-to-4-foot snake on her dashboard.

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"It was stretched lengthwise across the entire front dashboard," she told WRAL-TV. "I only realized it was there when it started slithering. It took a second before I realized it was a big, long snake! I managed to pull off the road onto a grassy shoulder and hop out of my car before I completely freaked out."

Henderson was spotted by stranger Michele Steeley, who was driving nearby with her 13-year-old son, Mark.

Steeley, who has experience with snakes, was able to capture the reptile with help from her son. The snake was released into the nearby woods.

Steeley said the gesture required her to overcome her fear of snakes.

"I was really thinking about the woman in the vehicle and what I would want someone to do for me in that situation," Steeley said. "I wouldn't be able to get back in that car. And my son said, 'We can help this lady.' I firmly believe that you should treat others the way you want to be treated."

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Henderson insisted that Steeley accept a cash reward, which she passed along to Mark. Mark said he would use the money to buy a Mother's Day gift and a present for his brother's birthday.

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