Hypothermia Likely The Cause For Three Local Young Adult Deaths - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Hypothermia Likely The Cause For Three Local Young Adult Deaths

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Police in Granville, Ohio say they suspect alcohol is a factor in the death of college student and Erie native Dave Hallman III.
This is possibly the third death of a young local person this year, due to hypothermia.
 
Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook says he usually sees 1 to 2 hypothermia deaths a year. So to have two locally just within the first two months of the year, is higher than normal.

19-year-old Keith McGee of Erie was found dead, after being reported missing following a New Years Eve party in Erie.

Last week, 21-year old Gannon student, Abby Brynda was found dead in an alleyway near west 12th and Sassafras. Her death is also believed to be from hypothermia.

And, Dave Hallman III was found dead in Ohio, several hours after he left a bar in the early-morning hours.

In each case, investigators believe alcohol may have played a role.

We caught up with a local doctor and the coroner to learn more on how alcohol can contribute to hypothermia and death.

"It (alcohol) lowers your resistance. So it's much, much, much easier to develop hypothermia and death under the influence of alcohol," said Cook.

"In general drugs of abuse could put you at risk, including alcohol," Said Dr. Wayne Jones, Medical Director for Emergency Services at Saint Vincent Hospital. "They affect your decision making, they allow you to stand the cold probably longer than you should, not realizing you're cold. You don't come inside to seek shelter, and of course your mental state worsens and your decision making worsens," Dr. Jones added.

Lyell Cook says he's still waiting toxicology results from the two local deaths, to confirm the causes of death were both hypothermia.
Those results are expected sometime this week.

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