The brown recluse spider bite from a ‘Rust’ crew member


Nov 13 – A Rust film production crew member was hospitalized for treatment for a venomous spider bite he suffered on the set at Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe.

Jason Miller, a pipe thrower and lamp operator, was bitten by a brown recluse spider while helping the Alec Baldwin production following the October 21 shootings that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza, according to a GoFundMe Campaign from his family. The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s detectives are still investigating the shooting in which Baldwin allegedly fired a revolver with a live round during a rehearsal.

Within days of being bitten, Miller suffered severe symptoms, including necrosis – the breakdown of tissue – and sepsis. He is being treated at a Lovelace Hospital in Albuquerque and could face an arm amputation.

“He was hospitalized and had several surgeries every day while the doctors did their best to stop the infection and save his arm from amputation,” the GoFundMe reads. “It will be a very long road to recovery for Jason if Abq Lovelace’s medical team can save his arm. If he loses his arm in the worst of circumstances, it will be a life-changing and devastating event for Jason and his family.”

The Miller family could not be reached for comment.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, brown recluse spiders are commonly found in southern or Midwestern states. Although their bites are poisonous, they cannot bite people without some form of counter pressure or inadvertent contact holding them to the skin.

In New Mexico, these spiders are most commonly found in the eastern portion of the state along the Pecos River Valley and live in small cracks or cavities in buildings or under rocks, according to the University of New Mexico’s Museum of Southwestern Biology.

In 2014, MP Ernest Chavez, D-Albuquerque, retired after his health deteriorated due to a possible bite from a brown recluse spider. The illness took him to an intermediate care center.

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