Autopsy: Cold To Blame For Death Of One Snow Shoveler

DES PLAINES / OAK LAWN, Ill. (STMW) – The death of one of two suburban women who collapsed while shoveling snow and died Friday have been attributed to cold exposure.

Florence Erickson, 77, fell while shoveling snow outside her home in the 1900 block of Pine St. in Des Plaines, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. She was pronounced dead at 8:22 a.m. at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.

A Saturday autopsy determined Erickson died from a cerebral hemorrhage, heart condition and cold exposure, according to the medical examiner’s office. The death was ruled an accident.

Des Plaines police were unavailable for comment.

Cold exposure was also possible in the death of a south suburban woman who also became unresponsive while shoveling snow, but a Saturday autopsy determined her death was natural.

Joan Lilek, 64, became unresponsive while shoveling snow outside her home at 9730 Cook Ave. in Oak Lawn, the medical examiner’s office said. She was pronounced dead at 2:17 p.m. at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

A Saturday autopsy determined she died from a heart condition and the death was ruled natural, according to the medical examiner’s office.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • arjay

    Why weren’t the neighbors of these two women shoveling their walks for them? Are all the younger people too busy these days to look after the elders? I suppose so and what a pathetic reflection of our society today.

  • JeanSC

    I don’t know what services these cities offer to senior citizens. But free snow shoveling should be made available to them, and residents over a certain age should be apprised of the help available and urged to check with their doctors before shoveling snow. Many people that age are quite capable of doing it safely. But shoveling snow is strenuous to all and should be managed as a type of “interval training.”

  • Reasonable Doubt

    Here, if this had taken place in Chicago, with alderman joe moore (SMALL LETTERS)
    demands you shovel city property, the city of Chicago would looking at a large civil suit. Send that wise alderman this article.

    • Afro

      That sorry SOB with Rahm would go to the funeral just to demand the hundred dollar fine payment from any possible life policy because they didn’t finish shoveling before they died.

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