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Elderly residents die in blizzard-hit Massachusetts; death toll at least four

Reuters


(Reuters) - An elderly man and woman found dead outside their homes in separate coastal Massachusetts communities were likely victims of a massive blizzard that hit New England earlier this week, police said on Thursday.

Olive Dupuis, 84, was found dead Thursday morning next to her car, near her home in the coastal city of Salem, north of Boston, police lieutenant Matt Desmond said, adding weather was likely a factor with sub-freezing temperatures and snow. Foul play was not suspected.

Separately, in Yarmouth, a town on Cape Cod, police found 97-year-old Richard MacLean dead in deep snow next to a carbon dioxide exhaust vent on the side of the home on Wednesday, according to a statement on the police department's Facebook page.

Police, who went looking for the man at the request of his son, said MacLean apparently died while trying to clear the vent in snowy conditions and there was no indication of foul play.

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The Massachusetts cases, which are still under investigation, bring the death toll from a wind-whipped blizzard that slammed the northeastern United States earlier this week to at least four.

Policein Trumbull, Connecticutsaid an 80-year-old man collapsed while shoveling snow and died on Tuesday at a nearby hospital.

Police said a teenager died late on Monday when he crashed into a lamp post as he was snow-tubing in the New York City suburb of Suffolk County, on the east end of Long Island, which saw more than two feet of snow in places.

The blizzard disrupted life for millions of residents across Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York, dumping up to 3 feet (90 cm) of snow in places, though it largely bypassed New York City.

On Thursday, Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Frederickson said in a statement that pickup trucks they use to plow residential streets "are just not big enough to remove the 2 to 4 foot snow drifts" and regretted road-clearing efforts in the town were dragging on.

"I can attest that in my 35 years on the department I have never seen a more difficult snow removal operation," Frederickson said.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson)