SANTEE, Calif. -- A jogger out for a morning run in Santee believes she owes he life to a stranger who rescued her from an angry swarm of bees.
On Monday morning Sophie Crew was out for her daily run on Magnolia Avenue, near Braverman Drive, when she saw a hive and swarm near a utility box.
“The moment I saw them to the side, it was already too late,” Crew said.
Thousands of bees blanketed her quickly.
“Just a lot of pain, stinging, burning and a sharp sensation all over my body,” Crew said.
Crew panicked and froze.
“I didn't know what to do and just started screaming and crying,” said Crew.
For some 30 seconds, Crew stood there as the bees swarmed her.
“And then out of nowhere, the gardener or maintenance man grabbed me, pulled me away, and said, ‘Run, run, run!’”
The man, Antonio, ran with her for several blocks.
“He sat me down, calmed me down, and helped take the stingers out.”
The bees stung her more than 50 times. Crew suffered fatigue and nausea, but felt much better a day later. Because of the incident, doctors told her she may develop an allergy to bees in the future.
City crews removed the hive, but on Tuesday 10News found a dozens of bees still near the utility box.
For Antonio, Crew has this message.
“Thank you. Thank you for coming and grabbing me and putting your own body at risk … He's a hero.”
Antonio stayed with Crew until her boyfriend arrived, but she never got his last name.
Experts said the sting of those bees could have been fatal if Crew had stuck around much longer. One bee removal specialist told 10News the remaining bees, likely a hybrid Africanized species, should leave the area within a few days.
If you're attacked by bees, don't swat them. Instead, quickly run away from the hive for an indoor space.