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Man shocked by power line, stung by killer bees describes experiences

By Ashlie Rodriguez, Reporter
Published On: Jan 30 2013 02:39:02 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 14 2014 09:32:22 PM CST

Reporter: Ashlie Rodriguez

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -

For his co-workers that saw it, they'll never forget the moment 52-year-old Craig Benavidez was shocked by a power line while trimming a tree on Monday.

Benavidez said he barely remembers anything.

“I remember cutting the branches off this tree then the next thing you know, I just wake up in the hospital," Benavidez told ABC-7 on Wednesday. Watch the full interview here.

The 13,000 volts sent him to a hospital intensive care unit but by Tuesday night he checked out of the hospital and is ready to go back to work on Thursday.

Benavidez has cuts on his hands, head and burns from when the electricity traveled through him and blew out of the bottom of his feet.

“I heard it from my buddies that who weren't in the tree that one minute I was cutting branches and the next minute I was dangling from the tree,” Benavidez said.

He said he blacked out, but this freak accident at work is not the worst thing he has experienced on the job. That would be when he was stung 1,800 times by Africanized bees, also known as killer bees, this past summer.

While they attacked, he hung helplessly trapped in his harness. What happened next sounds like a scene from a horror movie.

"They told me in the hospital that they were wiping them off with a credit card because they didn't want to count them anymore,” Benavidez said. “Bees were coming out of my mouth, my ears, my nose and flying around the hospital. People had to leave the hospital who were allergic to bees.”

The arborist is just thankful to be alive and he's ready to get back to work.

“I'm glad that I'm still kicking and alive and I got all five fingers and five toes,” Benavidez said. “I'm just a guy cutting trees just trying to make a living.”
 

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