Cold weather linked to 9 deaths in 1 week across Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE -- The brutally cold weather is the common link in nine deaths across the state of Wisconsin. Three of those deaths occurred in Milwaukee County. The most recent, an elderly woman who was found in a garage near 20th and Grange.

Last weekend, a 51-year-old man was found frozen in a van in an alley, near Humboldt and Burleigh.

The day before and 13 miles away, police say Mark Henderson was traveling through the intersection of 99th and Good Hope Road. Police said he ran a red light, caused a four car accident, jumped out of his car and ran from the scene. Police didn't find Henderson's body until the next day, wedged between a shed and a fence. Doctors say pain in your limbs is common in the cold temperatures.

 

Suraj Saggar

"The body's actually shunting blood to the core of the body, the important organs. So your fingertips, your toes, your nose, are basal constructive that means the blood vessels clamp down in order to shunt blood to the internal organs," said Suraj Saggar, Holy Name Medical Center.

Three more people died in Dane County, with hypothermia-related injuries. One was a 60-year-old man, found outside who later died at a hospital. A 57-year-old man was found in a Madison parking structure. And hypothermia is also to blame, in an 84-year-old woman's death in Sun Prairie. She was a patient with dementia and was found outside.

"Simply being outside will increase your basal metabolic rate, increase the amount of calories you burn, but also put undue stress on the heart," Saggar said.

Cold weather is also to blame for a death in Chetek, and a woman in Brown County. Another woman was found dead near Lake Winnebago, after she was celebrating New Year's eve in an ice shanty. Officials said she likely fell by the shoreline and died from exposure to the cold.

Lake Winnebago