News

OPP urge caution in wake of sudden deaths

By Vicki Gough, Special to Postmedia Network

OPP have said hypothermia was a factor in the death of a woman in Waterford on the weekend and in the death in February of a woman in Tillsonburg. JACOB ROBINSON/Simcoe Reformer

OPP have said hypothermia was a factor in the death of a woman in Waterford on the weekend and in the death in February of a woman in Tillsonburg. JACOB ROBINSON/Simcoe Reformer

Western Region OPP have issued a public safety bulletin after four sudden death investigations across the region in recent days.

"We're trying to be diligent in terms of getting our message out to the public about staying warm," Sgt. David Rektor told QMI Agency Wednesday.

On Feb. 20, a 70-year-old woman's body was discovered on a public school property in Tillsonburg.

Just two days later, the bodies of two men in their 60s were found outdoors along Public Bush Road on Walpole Island.

Early Sunday morning, a Hamilton woman was found unresponsive on a roadway in Waterford.

The 49-year-old woman was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

All four deaths are being investigated as non-suspicious.

"Hypothermia was a factor in all four deaths and though there is no confirmation at this point, or any evidence that we can relate to this case, alcohol has been known to have adverse effects as well, when combined with hypothermia," Rektor said.

Confirming what, if any factor, alcohol played in any of the sudden deaths won't be known for three to six months when toxicology results are expected to be completed, Rektor added.

"We don't have concrete evidence, but we don't want it to go unnoticed either," he said.

With more wintery weather to come, the OPP is urging people to stay safe during outdoor activities in extreme cold temperature.

"It's really important when you're engaging in outdoor activities to be extra cautious and sober," Rektor said.

"When engaging in outdoor activity you want to be of sound mind and body whenever you're outside in extreme cold temperatures."

Rektor said the recent rash of deaths in which freezing temperatures appear to have been a contributing factor is a stark reminder of the importance of dressing warmly while outside.

Hypothermia is a medical condition that happens when the body temperature falls below the normal temperature.

"This is a various serious condition that can lead to death quickly when a person is exposed to the elements," Rektor said.

People should be appropriately dressed and limit or refrain from alcohol consumption while out in the cold, he said.

"Alcohol hinders a person's ability to make sensible decisions which can sometimes end in tragic consequence," Rektor said.

With Environment Canada predicting more frigid weather over the next week, the OPP is urging everyone to heed the warnings, be safe and look out for each other.

 


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