The mayor of La Prairie, Que., has died after suffering multiple wasp stings at her cabin.

Lucie Roussel was in Stratford, Que., when she stepped on a wasp nest Sunday. She was reportedly stung by more than 15 wasps and died later in hospital.

Roussel, 51, had been the mayor of La Prairie, a Montreal-area community, since 2005. She leaves behind two children, who are 18 and 19.

The town’s deputy mayor, Laurent Blais, said Roussel’s death was a shock to everyone. The mayor had no known allergies to wasp stings.

“Oh she was respected a lot,” said La Prairie resident Sylvie Trepanier, who wiped away tears as she looked at the empty city hall parking spot reserved for Roussel.

“She was a wonderful woman and a fair woman and a woman of heart. She cared for us all those years.”

A city hall spokesperson said Roussel was stung by a wasp last week without incident, but experts say it’s the second exposure to a wasp sting that can lead to complications.

According to Health Canada, it’s possible to have a mild reaction to insect bites or certain types of food one time, followed by a severe reaction the next time. Severe allergic reactions are unpredictable, the agency says.

Dr. Joseph Shuster, an allergist at McGill University Health Centre, said dying from an insect sting is extremely rare. The fact that Roussel was stung many times likely made the difference, he told CTV Montreal.

Roussel’s family had suffered another tragedy in the past, when her husband died suddenly of a heart attack.

“I’m thinking about her family,” said Reine Hebert, a former colleague. “They lost their father a few years ago. And it’s like, you can’t do that to the family…it’s so sad.”

With a report from CTV Montreal’s Kevin Gallagher