University of Vermont student the 2nd undergrad to die amid subzero temperatures

BURLINGTON, Vt. — A University of Vermont student was found dead this weekend in sub-zero temperatures, the second undergrad to succumb in the frigid weather that enveloped the northern United States last week.

The university identified the student as Connor Gage, 19, of Little Falls New York.

Burlington police said Gage was cutting through a parking lot early Saturday when he was stopped by a fence.

The temperatures had been between minus 1 and minus 4 and he was wearing clothing “that was inadequate to the weather.”

“This is believed to have contributed to the male’s death,” said police. An investigation into Gage’s death is ongoing, but there are no indications of foul play.

Preliminary autopsy results indicate that Gage’s death “was the result of exposure in sub-zero temperatures, exacerbated by acute intoxication,” said Jon Murad, deputy chief with the Burlington Police Department.

Surveillance footage shows Gage alone, “inadequately dressed and moving in ways consistent with intoxication and/or hypothermia,” near the area where his body was found nearly 12 hours later. He had just left an off-campus event, Murad said.

Police said the investigation into Gage’s death is ongoing as authorities still await toxicology results to determine his cause of death.

Annie Stevens, vice provost for student affairs, said on Facebook that Gage, a member of the 2022 class, was majoring in neuroscience. She said the death took place off campus.

“We extend our deepest condolences to Connor’s family. Our sincere thoughts of care and sympathy are also extended to his friends, classmates, and to faculty and staff who were close to him,” she said.

Last week’s brutally cold weather paralyzed northern states and claimed around two dozen lives, including University of Iowa student Gerald Belz.

Belz, 18, was found outside early Wednesday in temperatures of more than 20 degrees below zero and with a wind chill around 50 below.

Law enforcement believes his death was tied to the weather conditions.

A pre-med student, Belz graduated in the spring from Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School.

“We are saddened by the loss of a student from the Hawkeye family,” said Angie Reams, interim associate vice president and dean of students. “Our thoughts are with Gerald’s family, friends and loved ones.”

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