PALM DESERT: Bee swarm critically injures one, traps others – multiple victims rescued

UPDATED: Tuesday, May 15, 12:45 p.m.

PALM DESERT — Shortly before noon fire officials updated that Vector Control had mitigated the bee swarm and all fire and medical personnel had cleared the scene.

There were no further updates and officials have not released any additional information about the critically injured elderly victim who was hospitalized after trying to escape the swarm by jumping into a pool.


PALM DESERT — One person was critically injured and several other victims had to be rescued by firefighters earlier this morning after a swarm of bees attacked four people in a residential neighborhood. The crisis happened on the 200 block of Strada Nova, northeast of Country Club Drive and Monterey Avenue, in Palm Desert.

Firefighters guide an elderly bee sting victim to a waiting gurney. Three people were rescued and one was critically injured during the swarm and attacks. Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire photo

About a dozen firefighters and other emergency first responders were dispatched to the Merano development just northeast of Oakmont of Segovia shortly before 9 a.m., after receiving reports of a bee swarm with at least four victims.

While firefighters were en route to the scene, emergency dispatchers told 911 callers to shelter in place and wait for medical personnel to arrive. One victim who was critically injured reportedly attempted to escape the bee swarm by jumping into a pool.

When firefighters and paramedics arrived on scene they located the swarm as well as the first three victims, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire spokesperson April Newman explained in an incident report.

“Two victims were able to safely reach a CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department Medic Unit,” Newman explained. “The third victim was able to shelter in their residence” and was eventually rescued.

After safely securing the first three victims, firefighters then “located and extricated the fourth victim from an outside pool,” said Newman. “The fourth victim was transported by ground ambulance to an area hospital in critical condition.”

The other three victims were all evaluated and treated at the scene for bee sting related injuries. All three declined further treatment and were not transported.

The large swarm is still in the area and Vector control has been requested and is responding to the incident, according to Newman.

Based on the severity of the swarm and attacks, Cal Fire has established an incident command post off Via Tramanto and firefighters, paramedics and ambulance crews will remain at the scene until the problem has been mitigated.

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is available.


Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 46, recently moved to Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations, including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook, as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and The Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 27 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 14 – soon to be 15 – grandchildren.

Leave a Reply