NBC10.com - George Spencer
The extreme cold is taking a tragic toll in Delaware County. NBC10's George Spencer reports at least three deaths, all on Wednesday, are weather-related.
Authorities are blaming the weather on the deaths of four people in Pennsylvania on Wednesday.
An official with the Delaware County Medical Examiner's Office told NBC10 that a 67-year-old man died in Swarthmore, a 92-year-old woman died in Ridley Township and an 87-year-old man died in Wallingford. A Ridley Township Police detective also told NBC10 that another man died in Ridley Township overnight though this was not confirmed by the Medical Examiner's Office.
The 67-year-old Swarthmore man was found unresponsive outside his home by his wife around 7 a.m. on Wednesday. He was taken to Taylor Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The 87-year-old Wallingford man was shoveling snow when he felt faint and fell down. His wife found him unresponsive around 1 p.m. and called 911. He was taken to the Crozer Chester Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
The 92-year-old Ridley Township woman was found by her son-in-law unresponsive outside her home around 1 p.m. on Wednesday. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
"I found out from the granddaughter that she went out in a housecoat," said Ted Abt, the woman's neighbor. "And I know that there was no way she could survive that long out in that weather."
Police confirmed that a second person died overnight in Ridley Township though they did not reveal the details of the person's death to NBC10. The Delaware County Daily Times reports however that the second Ridley Township victim is an 89-year-old man.
The man wandered outside during the storm overnight and was found in his neighbor's yard wearing only underwear, according to the Times. The Times reports he was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
A family member of the 89-year-old man also reached out to NBC10 but stated that the victim did not have Alzheimer's as the Times reported but instead had medical issues that caused him to sometimes be confused at night.
Natalie Pagano, a professional caregiver, says that the deaths should serve as reminders for people to check on their elderly relatives and neighbors more frequently during periods of extreme cold.
"I work with dementia patients," Pagano said. "So it's devastating. It just takes a blink of an eye for something to happen like this."