^
Keep New Times Free
4

Joshua Ruzsa, 19, Identified as Victim of Fatal Fall in Camelback Bee Attack

Phoenix police have identified Joshua Ruzsa, 19, as the victim in a fatal fall that was the result of bee attack yesterday at Camelback Mountain. Ruzsa's Facebook site says he was a 2011 graduate of the E-Institute in Surprise, attended Glendale Community College and was preparing to enter U.S. Marine Corps boot camp next year.

Ruzsa and two friends began hiking at the Echo Canyon trail head on Monday afternoon before climbing up the face, which we detailed in our previous post today.

See also: Camelback Mountain Hiker Dies After Fall During Bee Attack, Two Others Stung 300 Times Each; Off Main Trail on Climbing Route

When the cloud of bees descended on the trio, "Joshua attempted to climb higher up the face of the mountain to get away from the bees and get to the top," Phoenix police Sergeant Trent Crump wrote in a bulletin released this morning. "The two other climbers found a nearby alcove in the face of the mountain and covered their faces with their hands. Both of these witnesses heard Joshua yelling for help as he fell to his death below."

Ruzsa fell an estimated 60 feet. He was pronounced dead at the scene by public safety officials.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

The other two men, aged 18 and 20, were stung hundreds of times each and had to be helicoptered off the cliff. They were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, Crump stated.

Although the bees were a major factor in Ruzsa's fall, the incident also highlights the need for caution when rock-climbing at Camelback.

The Phoenix mountain has a long tradition of rock-climbing that goes back to the 1940s, and the 57-acre Echo Canyon park has numerous cliff faces that entice both experienced climbers and hikers who decide impulsively to go vertical.

Valley resident Chelsey McHale has been trying to get Phoenix to install a sign warning people about the dangers of climbing since her brother, Clint, slipped and fell to his death in May of 2011. Phoenix officials have indicated they'll put something up.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.