Mon, June 24

Truck floats on Spring Creek

PAGE SPRINGS -- We have all heard the warnings to not cross low-water crossings when water is running. But that did not deter a grandmother and grandson who wanted to cross the Spring Creek Crossing at Willow Point Road Wednesday afternoon. Even a full-sized King Cab pickup will float. That is what happened about 3:30 when the normally benign Spring Creek became a torrent behind heavy rains.

Captain Mike Rauton says the woman told crews that water had reached halfway up the side of the truck to the height of the windows.

Even though a large vehicle, the big truck was no match for the rushing water that carried the truck, its two human and one canine occupants about 100-yards downstream before it was caught in a snag and stuck there.

When the truck stopped moving, the grandmother left the 10-year-old to go get help, but she was once again immediately carried downstream by the high water another 100 feet before grabbing a standing tree.

Verde Valley Fire crews position one of two engines on each side of the crossing and swift water teams from Verde Valley Fire and Sedona Fire assembled for a swift water rescue.

Grandmother, grandson and dog were all carried to high ground

The woman and boy were treated for minor hypothermia, but refused transport to the hospital but they were given a ride to their Cornville home.

The stranded truck was to be removed when the water subsided Thursday.

Rauton says its important people realize the strength of fast moving water, matter its depth.

Lightning strikes

VERDE SANTA FE -- As Verde Valley crews Wednesday afternoon were rescuing a small family from high water, another Cornville emergency call needed outside help. Cornville Fire crews stepped in to support Verde Valley at a lightning strike in Verde Santa Fe.

When lightning struck the home, crews say it blew out the TV and other receptacles. There was no fire involved, but the family was advised not to restore the circuit breakers until the strike was inspected by an electrician.

Motorcycle down

SR 89A -- Traffic was blocked briefly Thursday morning during rush hour when a motorcycle rider and his bike went down on the Cornville Road side of the intersection with SR 89A.

Cottonwood Fire crews were called just after 8 a.m. finding the rider lying on the ground. He was moved to an ambulance to be stabilized and then transported to Verde Valley Medical Center by the Verde Valley Ambulance Company.

Man hospitalized after 1,000 bee stings

A Dewey man remains in a hospital intensive care unit after being stung more than 1,000 times Sunday by bees nesting under a cattle feed trough.

DeWayne Spires, 49, and six other men were scouting for the hunting season by a cattle tank off Orme Road near Mayer when the bees attacked.

The attack came just three days after bees attacked three men in Wilhoit while they were working on a house, and one of them died.

Spires' nephew Alex said the bees might have attacked because the men were shooting shotguns with 50 yards of the beehive. They didn't know it was there until the bees attacked.

"It was the scariest thing I've ever been through," Alex Spires said. He said he ran as fast as he could until the bees stopped chasing him.

Alex and DeWayne's girlfriend Wanda Schmidt said DeWayne's friend Terry Link saved DeWayne's life.

DeWayne has lung problems and couldn't run away from the bees, Schmidt said. When he fell to the ground as the bees attacked, Terry carried him into the stock tank water and covered their exposed heads with mud from the tank bottom, Alex related.

Eventually all the men were able to escape in their vehicles.

DeWayne's condition is stable and improving at the Yavapai Regional Medical Center in Prescott Valley, Schmidt said.

Alex said the stock tank is a popular scouting spot for hunters.

The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office and Mayer fire officials plan to help get rid of the beehive.

Experts at the University of Arizona's Extension Office and elsewhere have the following advice for people being attacked by bees:

• Run away as fast as you can to a building or vehicle. Most healthy humans usually can outrun bees after about a quarter-mile.

• Jumping in water won't protect you (unless you cover your head with thick mud or a net) because bees will wait for you to come up for air.

• Use a handkerchief or even your shirt to cover your face, since bee stings to the face are worse than stings on other parts of the body.

• If you are stung more than 15 times, seek medical aid.

• Wear light-colored clothes outdoors.

and avoid wearing floral or citrus perfumes or aftershaves.

• Be alert for beehives wherever you are. Bees often give a warning that you are too close to their hive before they attack by buzzing near your face.

• Bees don't like loud noises, so beware if you are shooting a gun or mowing the lawn, for example.

• Call a beekeeper to get rid of hives. They often can remove all the bees without killing them. Bees are important pollinators and their populations are diminishing.