Propane tank driver loses consciousness after Hemet bee swarm attack

UPDATED: Friday, April 19, 11:30, With update/correction and writer’s note

Writer’s note: Since the publication of this report, RCNS was contacted by Allison Platz, Marketing Manager for Delta Liquid Energy and Arro Autogas, who explained, “Recently, Expo Propane in Pomona acquired assets from Delta Liquid Energy/Arro Autogas including the truck that was a part of your article.”

“Unfortunately, when this incident occurred Expo Propane had not yet changed the graphics on this truck – this is the reason it can be interpreted as a truck still owned and operated by Arro Autogas,” Platz continued. “Please note, this is no longer our piece of equipment, we do not employ the driver, and we are in no way involved in the incident discussed in your article.”

This information was later confirmed by Scott Graham, General Manager of Expo Propane.


HEMET — A propane truck delivery driver was hospitalized after he was reportedly attacked by bees while driving in the area of State and Newport streets in Hemet, Monday afternoon, April 15. The bee swarm attack caused the victim, who is highly allergic to bee stings, to lose consciousness; which sent his large commercial tanker careening into an Edison power pole. The accident sheared the power pole in half and knocked out power to area residents for several hours.


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City of Hemet Police and Fire Departments, along with other emergency personnel, were dispatched to the solo-vehicle crash around 4:30 p.m.

When officials arrived they found an Arro Autogas propane tanker that had mowed down a power pole, causing the pole to snap in half. It was later learned the involved tanker was no longer property of Arro Autogas and was the property of Expo Propane, out of Pomona. Police officers found the driver of the tanker unconscious inside the wrecked tanker truck and discovered propane was leaking from the damaged tank.

SoCal Edison spent several hours restoring power to area residents when the driver of a propane tanker lost consciousness after being attacked by bees while driving on State St. in Hemet. Ricardo Ruelas/Hemet News photo

Fire and rescue personnel quickly worked to revive the unconscious driver so he could instruct officials how to shut off the valves to the damaged and leaking tank.

After paramedics stabilized the driver at the scene, AMR transported the man to Hemet Valley Hospital where he was treated for anaphylactic shock. He has since been released and is recovering at home, according to officials.

SoCal Edison employees were summoned to the scene to remove and replace the destroyed power pole and officials spent several hours working to restore power to area residents.

No other injuries related to the accident were reported and Hemet PD’s crash investigation is ongoing.

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Ricardo Ruelas/Hemet News video

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Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of 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 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 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.