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

Categories: Bees!

ruzsa josh.JPG
Image: Facebook
Josh Ruzsa died on Monday after falling about 60 feet on a cliff at Camelback Mountain. He and two hiking companions had been attacked by bees after climbing a cliff face.

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.

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.

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Those might have been Afrikian Obama bees !!!


I knew Josh, he was a good kid. Basically knew him since i was 13, 19 now... we used to skate togather on occasion as well but mostly just laid back and kicked it. He was dedicated to his training in the feild of being a Marine and the felt for need to protect his country. There is no way in Hell that he is to blame for his fall, anyone who says otherwise can say it to my face and trust me you dont want to do that... If the bees had never nested in that particular region of the mountain the fall would've have occured and we's still be able to the continual smile on his face. We had been friends since I met him at E-institute and now he is greatly missed and can never be reclaimed. To Denise, Im sorry you lost your son, I know he ment alot to you and and that you wished to see aspire in the feild that he had chosen for his life. May God place him in a beautiful place where he may watch over us all and see life as he knew. Rest In Paradise Josh. <3


No one's trying to "blame to victim," but your comparison of George Route to a sidewalk is not accurate. It's a cinch to escape bees if you're on a sidewalk, or even on Echo Canyon Trail. The victim died from a fall, not bee stings. My point is that there are many risks when free climbing anywhere, and at Camelback, an attack by Africanized bees is one of those risks. Plan accordingly.



This can not be blamed on the lack of skill of the climber. This was an africanized bee attack, that was unavoidable. We need to try to find a solution to the growing number of these types of attacks, rather than trying to blame the victim.  What about the man that was attacked by the bees while walking down the street, should they put up warning signs about how dangerous it is to walk on the sidewalk?

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