Hiker killed by fall during bee attack on Camelback Mountain

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- Officials with the Phoenix Fire Department said one hiker was killed and two others had to be rescued after a bee attack in the Ice Box Canyon area of Camelback Mountain on Monday afternoon.

Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Trent Crump said it appears the three hikers went off-trail and began to free climb up the face of a cliff. During their climb they were swarmed by bees.

Joshua R. Ruzsa, 19, was attempting to climb higher up the face of the mountain to get away from the bees when he fell more than 60 feet.

"It's tragic that somebody fell to their death because of this," said Capt. Scott McDonald with the Phoenix Fire Department.

The two other climbers found a nearby alcove in the face of the mountain and covered their faces with their hands until rescuers arrived.

They had to be airlifted off of the mountain in a very dangerous rescue. Firefighters said the hikers each had about 300 bee stings. The survivors were not allergic to bees and were hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries.

Some of the rescue workers wore white protective suits to keep them from being stung. McDonald said one of the rescuers was also stung but will be fine.

The names of the other two hikers, who are 18 and 20 years old, have not been released.