TUCSON, AZ (3TV/CBS 5/KOLD News 13) -- One man died and three others were injured in a bee attack in Cochise County on Friday, according to our affiliate KOLD

The Cochise County Sheriff's Office said the bees attacked a group of men who were cleaning up scrap piles near Atkins Farm Road.

[WATCH: Family remembers dad, grandpa killed by bee attack in southern Arizona]

A witness said a 73-year-old man, later identified by the CCSO as Don Richins, and his 43-year-old son, Scott Richins, were stung during the incident.

Don's daughter, Kelli Adkins, and another witness confirmed he was allergic to bees. 

A CCSO deputy caught up with the men as they were traveling in a vehicle near San Simon.

“The driver advised his father was in the back seat and had been stung multiple times by bees,” the CCSO said in a news release.

The deputy tried to help Don in the back seat, but the deputy was stung several times when he opened the door. While trying to perform CPR, “the bees inside of the vehicle made efforts impossible and the driver was instructed to roll down the windows and follow the deputy a short distance to a location to meet with the medical personnel from San Simon Fire Department.”

The deputy then resumed resuscitation efforts and medical personnel arrived on scene.

Don was from Duncan, according to his daughter. Family says Don's son from Pima, 43-year-old Scott Richins, got out of the hospital Sunday morning after being treated for hundreds of stings.

"He actually had a bee in his lung," said Scott's cousin, Kristi Rathjen. "They could see it on the X-ray. That was one of the things. He had to cough that up. He got that out."

Another family member, named Josh, is also out of the hospital following treatment, according to relatives.

Rathjen said she visited Scott in the hospital and talked to him Sunday morning.

"You can feel stingers still in their head," said Rathjen. "They’ve pulled out over 500 so far, but he says he feels good."

Scott told Rathjen the bee attack happened when Don was moving tires.

"In the tires, unbeknownst to him, were as many as seven hives," said Rathjen. "What they found out afterwards, two of them were Africanized, and five of them were just regular honey bees.  Scott heard his dad screaming and looked over and saw his dad was out of the cab of the trailer. Scott said he ran over there and said he couldn’t even hardly see him. The noise they [bees] make is really almost like a thundering buzzing noise. It’s not like anything you’ve ever heard."

She said Scott couldn't get the bees away from his dad.

"He said every time I tried to open my eyes all I saw were bees. 'Just bees in my ears, bees in my nose, nose itches,' -- He’s pulling out bees. He’s pulling out bees out of his ears," said Rathjen.

Don's daughter remembers him as a man who treated everyone like his kids. She says he was a farmer who spent the majority of his life in Duncan.

The Cochise County Sheriff's Office is continuing to investigate. It said a deputy also went to the hospital for bee stings while trying to help the men. The deputy will be okay.

Click here to read the updated story from our Tucson affiliate KOLD. 

 


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