Spokesman, Greg Buelow, says police were called to an accident on the southeast side of the city at 7:48 Sunday morning. He says officers determined the man slid off the road and hit a sign, then got out of his car and started walking. “And they believed he slipped and fell and was found lying outside his car when first responders arrived,” Buelow says.
The temperature at the time was 11 below zero. “The 39-year-old male was still breathing, but had severe hypothermia. He was transported to a local hospital, but unfortunately died a little bit later,” according to Buelow. The man has been identified as Jacob Hayes.
He says the accident does not appear to have been severe enough to cause the man’s death. “Preliminary it sure appears that the cold temperatures and being exposed for a period of time was the major contributing factor,” Buelow says. He says they are trying to figure out how long Hayes may’ve been out in the cold.
“It’s a fairly busy road during the daytime, but during the overnight hours it’s possible that you wouldn’t have cars traveling across there very frequently,” Buelow says. He says it could have been a period of several hours between the time the accident happened and the time he was found.
Buelow says it is likely an autopsy will be performed on Hayes’ body.