Indiana Police Detective Dies After Being Stung by Hornets 'Over 40 Times'

Larry Crenshaw was removing a deer stand in the woods with a friend when the fatal attack happened

Anderson, Ind. Police Chief Larry Crenshaw
Former Anderson Police Chief Larry Crenshaw. Photo: John P. Cleary/The Herald Bulletin/AP

An Indiana police detective died over the weekend after he was attacked by hornets while hunting with a friend.

Larry Crenshaw, who worked as a detective and police chief for the Anderson Police Department, died Sunday afternoon at Rush Memorial Hospital in Rushville following the "unexpected accident," according to his obituary.

The 59-year-old was removing a tree stand with a friend in the woods near Brookville when they were attacked by the hornets, Rush County Coroner Ron Jarman confirms to PEOPLE.

"Larry was stung over 40 times and shortly after began to have issues with shortness of breath and collapsed in the woods," Jarman explains, noting that the friends did not have a cell phone with them and eventually went to 7051 Pipe Creek to call 911.

After calling for help, Jarman says Crenshaw was transported to Rush Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later. His death was ruled accidental and was deemed a result of a heart attack caused by an allergic reaction.

"This was a tragic accident. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Crenshaw family and friends," Jarman says.

Though Crenshaw ultimately died from the attack, the other friend reportedly survived, according to The Herald Bulletin. His condition was not known.

At the time of his death, Crenshaw was serving as a detective for the Anderson Police Department.

The 26-year veteran also worked as a police chief for the department between 2012 and 2016 and was elected to the Madison County Council, where he served as president from 2004 to 2012.

In a statement from the Anderson Police Department, a spokesperson told PEOPLE, "Larry was a skilled and respected officer who will be missed by his friends at the Anderson Police Department... he made an indelible impression upon people, wherever he went."

Aside from his career, Crenshaw was a dedicated father of three who "adored his entire family," according to his obituary.

"Larry was a loving husband, dad, and Poppy. Larry was quite the family man," his obituary states. "He enjoyed coaching baseball and most recently was the pitcher for his grandsons’ baseball team. Larry enjoyed hunting, fishing, and had a love for the outdoors. He enjoyed playing golf and ping pong with his son, Hogan. On most vacations, you could find Larry on his raft or boat."

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In the wake of his death, many of Crenshaw's loved ones paid tribute to the police detective on his Facebook page and commended him for his big heart.

"I don’t know what to say. I’m at a loss for words. My prayers are with your family. You were an amazing man and friend," wrote one user, while another added, "I know you touched a lot of lives in all your years of service."

"You had a heart of gold and would do anything for anybody," wrote someone else.

One family friend called Crenshaw "an amazing husband, father, leader, and friend," and praised him for "serving our community for so many years."

"Larry, you did it right. You made an everlasting impact," the family friend wrote. "You will truly be missed and never forgotten."

Added another user: "You were one of the kindest and most genuine people I’ve ever met... You were a public servant and you were a hero to so very many. You always put others before yourself and anyone that had the privilege to meet you would say the exact same."

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