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Strangers jump to help woman swarmed by bees in Arizona

Posted at 12:21 AM, Oct 09, 2018

CHANDLER, Ariz. - A woman in the East Valley of Arizona was stung by bees more than 200 times and a few fellow runners just happened to be in the right place--and the right time--to help.

Usually cooler weather keeps bees away, but with more trees and flowers in bloom after the recent rain, experts say the bees are sticking around.

"I was taking my dog out for a walk, it's a normal route," said Marisa Brazil.

Her daily routine along Paseo Trail in Chandler took a terrifying turn Monday morning.

"She was starting to flail her arms and I kind of looked at my best friend, Julie, and said, 'she's either having a really good time or something's happening,'" Brazil said.

It did not take long for both women to realize something terrible was happening to the runner ahead of them on the trail.

"She was really screaming, like loud," said Julie Sternberg. The trained lifeguard ran to help while Brazil called 911.

"I tried to run up the other side and then some bees came at me," Sternberg said.

Sternberg was stung on her head as the bees forced her back. She then saw two other strangers battling their way forward.

"They kept retreating. So at that point once I figured out there was bees, I figured out that's why. I saw one guy kept moving back," said Sternberg. 

"She was still screaming the whole entire time, so it was pretty scary," said Brazil.

First responders eventually took over. The woman who was stung posted to Facebook from her hospital bed, thanking the strangers who tried to help. 

The woman who was stung is expected to recover. Her family said she was released from the hospital Monday afternoon.

Now Brazil is warning others to be on alert.

"Just letting people in my community know that there is something going on there," Brazil said.

A technician at The BEEHIVE Bee and Wasp Removal in Gilbert said if you find yourself surrounded by a swarm, swatting is the worst thing to do because that only agitates the bees. 

He says the best thing to do in a similar situation is remain calm, cover your face and nose, and run as fast as you can away from the area.