Columbia Falls Man Dies of Hypothermia

By Beacon Staff

COLUMBIA FALLS – Police in northwestern Montana say a 56-year-old man who had been sleeping in his car died of hypothermia after the car’s battery died, shutting off the electric blanket he was using for warmth.

Columbia Falls Police Chief Dave Perry says 56-year-old Jeffery Tolson was discovered at about 6 a.m. Monday by an officer on patrol who was bringing him food and coffee.

The officer found Tolson cold to the touch with a faint pulse and called an ambulance. Medical personnel were unable to revive him.

Perry says Tolson had lost his job as a truck driver about two weeks earlier and was familiar with sleeping in vehicles. He says he thinks everything would have been OK if the battery hadn’t been drained.

Temperatures dropped to about 5 degrees that night.

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