Orefield Woman Dies of Hypothermia in Backyard During Hurricane

An 86-year-old woman, who spent the night outside during the height of Hurricane Sandy's wrath, died of hypothermia Monday night outside her home.

Theresa Schlitzer, 86, of 2425 Route 309 in Orefield, South Whitehall, died of hypothermia Tuesday morning according to the Lehigh County coroner's office.

She went outside at 10:30 p.m. during the height of Hurricane Sandy and was found unresponsive in her yard early Tuesday morning. Deputy Coroner Jason Nicholas pronounced her dead at 9:45 a.m. at her home.

South Whitehall Police Officer Mark Ruff said further investigation has been handed over to the coroner's office and he didn't have additional information about Schlitzer's death.

Patch talked to a man who identified himself as Schlitzer's son outside her home on Wednesday but he did not want to comment. He said he was very upset about her death.

According to a story on Lehigh Valley Live, Julia Gravatt, whose son John lives next door to Schlitzer, described her as a feisty, amazing woman who despite her 80+ years was very mobile and independent.

Schlitzer's death is one of three in the Lehigh Valley attributed to Hurricane Sandy. Tammy Kerosetz, 48, of 3663 Schoeneck Road, Lower Macungie, was overcome by exhaust fumes from a portable gas generator before 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday. The generator was running inside her garage, the coroner's office said.

A 17-year old boy from Wind Gap also died from severe head injuries after his all-terrain vehicle hit a fallen tree.


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