Hiker dies after stung more than 1,000 times in US park

Hiker dies after stung more than 1,000 times in US park

Hiker dies after stung more than 1,000 times in US park

A 23-year-old hiker has been killed by a swarm of furious Arizona bees, which stung him over 1,000 times along a Phoenix-area trail, police said.

Alex Bestler from Louisiana was hiking through Usery Mountain Regional Park with a friend yesterday when the bees attacked them, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

The pair did not provoke the bees, which began attacking without any warning.

Bestler's friend, a woman only identified as Sonya, was able to escape the aggressive bugs by ducking into a trail restroom.

Good Samaritans in the park tried to get to Bestler to render first aid — but the angry bees kept them from reaching the hiker, who was lying on the trail, "covered by bees," officials said.

Park sergeant Romer was finally able to get to the dying man by driving through the swarm with a park patrol car.

Romer loaded Bestler into his vehicle and drove him to doctors.

He was "still covered with bees, and a swarm pursuing" as the cop ferried him to help, officials said.

The swarm had dispersed by the time the officer got Bestler to emergency medical workers.

Bestler was stung more than 1,000 times, doctors found. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Romer, who suffered several stings himself and was poked by a cactus during the chaos, was also treated for minor injuries.

Usery Mountain Regional Park has been closed while park staffers investigate the bee attack.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio said, "I commend Sgt. Romer for risking his life trying to save the victim. These attacks are becoming more frequent and I urge the public to be aware of their surroundings when out in these areas."