Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Date field worker, 49-year-old Gerardo Balbuena with Hadley Date Farms, was stung by bees and died in Thermal, California

THERMAL, Calif. - Cal Fire was called to a deadly incident in Thermal on Monday after a date field worker was reportedly stung by bees. It happened at 73rd Avenue and Fillmore Street.   He was working at the Hadley Date Farm.

Cal Fire officials said emergency crews tried to resuscitate the man when they arrived at about 9:30 a.m., but he died at the scene shortly after going into cardiac arrest.

The Riverside County Coroner's Office later identified the man as 49-year-old Gerardo Balbuena of Thermal.

Balbuena's daughter Marilou provided a statement to CBS Local 2's Brooke Beare, saying "My dad was one of the most hard working persons you will ever meet! He devoted his entire life to his family and did all he coould to make sure we succeeded. He worked for Hadley's Date for over 25 years! He was a very loved man that would give anything he had to see others happy. Gerardo left behind his wife, four daughters, a son and a grandson. He will be missed by many."

The exact cause of death is still under investigation.

A friend of the family launched a GoFundMe effort hours after Balbuena's death, asking for support for the family.