A 44 year old northern Wisconsin woman died from the cold Saturday morning and authorities in a Milwaukee suburb were also investigating whether a woman found dead in her front yard also died from the frigid temperatures.
A Drummond resident found the body of Cathleen Traczyk around 10:30 a.m. Saturday in his yard; according to Bayfield County Sheriff Bob Follis.
Traczyk was in a Drummond bar until it closed Saturday morning, went to a friend's house but then around 4 a.m. tried to drive home. Her car went off the road and became stuck, Follis said.
Traczyk, who was not wearing a hat or gloves, became disoriented and attempted to walk home, Follis said. She became hypothermic as she attempted to take a shortcut through neighbor's backyards, Follis said.
Authorities were testing her blood alcohol level, but the results weren't immediately available.
***Now I will never be driving home intoxicated-- or even "allegedly intoxicated"-- this underscores my care in making sure the van is packed with winter survival gear when I travel at this time of year. Cell phone batteries die, cars do go off the road and you need to have at least some basic supplies. Don't eat snow to stay hydrated; it takes more energy for your body to heat it. Instead, melt it first by some other means. Did you know that Frito's burn well? A little knowledge can go a long toward keeping you focused and on task, not in a panic. Be well, be safe.