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Two men pronounced dead in Milwaukee after collapsing while cleaning up snow

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MILWAUKEE — Officials with the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office are investigating two snow-related deaths. These deaths were announced and occurred on Tuesday, December 29th — one day after a winter storm dumped a total of nine inches of snow in Milwaukee. The deaths are a sobering reminder of how dangerous snow removal can be.

We’re told a 73-year-old man apparently collapsed while snow blowing. He was pronounced dead around 1:20 p.m. near 76th and Bradley Road.

A 54-year-old man died after collapsing while shoveling snow. He was pronounced dead shortly after 1:30 p.m. near Howell and Layton.

Officials say autopsies will not be performed — and no further information will be released at this time.

FOX6 News has learned both of these men were trying to help their neighbors when they died.

“You never know. When it’s your day, it’s your day,” George Bean said.

Bean says it was his neighbor who died near Howell and Layton Tuesday afternoon. Bean tells FOX6 News the man was helping to clear snow for his neighbors.

“He was out here and did my sidewalk and his sidewalk.  Came in the house and a few minutes later — I don`t know if he was sitting down or laying down — he was gone,” Bean said.

“54. That`s pretty scary if you die from a heart attack shoveling snow at 54,” Jon Rodriguez said.

As for the 73-year-old man, neighbors tell FOX6 News he was working to clear a neighbor’s driveway Tuesday because that neighbor is vacationing in Florida.

“Maybe he`s just one of those Good Samaritans that `hey my neighbor needs shoveling. I will go help him out,'” Rodriguez said.

Doctors say these types of deaths are sadly more common after a big, heavy snowfall.

“They are exerting themselves more than they should and sometimes they have a problem they don`t know about.  It takes shoveling this heavy snowfall before they know it,” Dr. Bill Lieber said.

Related resources:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: Prevent Shoveling/Snowblowing Injuries

American Heart Association: Shoveling and heart hazards

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