An Australian energy crew worker bitten by a taipan snake last week is believed to have died almost instantly.
Ergon’s Peter Billing told AAP the men were talking but could not see each other through thick lantana.
He said Mr Vaughan’s colleagues knew something was wrong when he stopped answering them and his mobile phone rang out.
“As soon as contact was lost they raised the alarm,” Mr Billing said.
Ergon Energy hired a helicopter to search for Mr Vaughan alongside police and SES workers.
He was reported missing about 2.30pm (AEST) and was found more than three hours later about 60 metres away from where the men were originally working.
The 57-year-old father had worked for Ergon for more than 20 years.