Intoxicated residents found out in the cold, near death

Published 11:22am Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Local emergency responders rescued two people from near death over the past few days in Austin.

In the first case, a resident at Key Apartments notified authorities about a woman yelling for help at about 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 22. A 19-year-old Austin woman had been outside with no shoes and had ice and snow frozen up to her shins. EMTs reported the woman was intoxicated, wet and hypothermic when they found her just inside a lobby at the apartments. The EMTs took the woman to the Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin.

Community service officer Ernesto Cantu on Christmas Eve also found an intoxicated person lying in a snow bank outside Queen of Angels Church wearing just jeans and a T-shirt, according to the police report. The weather at that time, 11:15 p.m., was an 8 below wind chill. The 22-year-old Austin man was reportedly lying in the snow for a long time and couldn’t move his hands or feet. Police say if he would have lain there for much longer, he would have died.

Police Capt. Dave McKichan said these incidents serve as reminders to be safe and responsible during the holiday season, especially as nighttime lows are getting extremely cold.

“Both these people are incredibly lucky,” he said.

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