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Niland Slabs resident dies following attack by swarm of bees

November 18, 2001|By LAURA MITCHELL

Staff Writer

A man died Saturday afternoon when he and two friends were attacked by a swarm of bees at the Niland Slabs, authorities said.

Jerry Valentine, 61, a resident of the Slabs, was attacked by the bees while he and his friends were trying to move picnic benches, county Coroner Investigator Deputy Gary Hayes said.

The friends got out of a vehicle and began moving the picnic benches and other items in the area when they were swarmed, Hayes said.

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Valentine and his friends were running back to the vehicle when he collapsed, Hayes said. They were stung by the bees multiple times in the head and upper body, he said. Valentine died at the scene.

"We're not sure if they're Africanized," Hayes said, referring to Africanized honey bees, also known as "killer bees."

Valentine may have died of a heart attack as he was running, but the Coroner's Office won't know until Tuesday, he said.

>> Staff Writer Laura Mitchell can be reached at 337-3452 or lauramitchell9@yahoo.com.

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