Woman dies from fire ant attack one day after her mother died

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WFLA/AP) – Authorities and relatives say an Alabama woman standing atop a hay bale was attacked by fire ants and died the day after her mother died.

A joint funeral was held Thursday in Selma for the women, 29-year-old Kalyn Rolan and 53-year-old Roberta Lynn Duke, both of Prattville.

“Losing a mother and a daughter together, back-to-back within a day, it’s a lot for a person to take on,” Sheila Rolan said.

Rolan’s mother-in-law, Sheila Rolan, says Duke had died of lung disease and the younger woman was in rural Dallas County making funeral arrangements on May 20 when fire ants in the hay bale attacked her.

”The ants started coming out and getting all over her and she came off the haystack and my son said he grabbed her and put her on the ground, took her clothes off trying to help her to save her but he couldn’t save her,” Rolan said.

“She’d be in a really bad mood, but she’d always laugh at me and tell me ‘you crazy girl’; we just had a good time all the time,” Regina Tatum, Kalyn’s best friend told WSFA.

District Attorney Michael Jackson says his office ordered an autopsy, but it appears Kalyn Rolan died of an extreme allergic reaction.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 90 to 100 people die annually in the United States from insect bites.

A GoFundMe account to help offset funeral costs has been setup by the family.

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