Cold, storm take toll on Oklahomans

The winter storm left a number of people across Oklahoma injured or recovering from medical conditions Monday. One man suffered a heart attack and was found outside in the cold in Oklahoma City.
Modified: March 3, 2014 at 9:25 pm •  Published: March 4, 2014

Schools in the Oklahoma City metro area again will be closed Tuesday as Monday’s sun failed to melt the ice and snow covering neighborhood streets.

Oklahoma City, Edmond, Moore, Norman, Putnam City and Mid-Del school districts were among those that announced Monday that classes would be canceled Tuesday. Classes at the University of Oklahoma will be delayed, but the campus will open, officials said.

The sun came out Monday in central Oklahoma, and people began to dig out from freezing weather that contributed to two fatal traffic accidents and dozens of other injuries.

Public schools and universities, including the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and the University of Central Oklahoma, were closed. Agencies encouraged most state employees to stay home.

Neighborhood roads were snow-packed and icy, but road crews had partially cleared most major routes in the Oklahoma City area in time for the morning commute.

About 7:15 a.m. Monday in Seminole County, a 2004 Jeep Wrangler driven by Raymond Reed III, of Seminole, went out of control on snowy State Highway 59, went into a slide, struck a tree and rolled, state troopers said. Reed, 40, died at the scene.

Jesse Gorbet, 16, died in a traffic accident early Saturday in El Reno. Three others were critically injured in that accident.

A man was taken to a hospital in critical condition Sunday night after being found outdoors in the cold. He apparently suffered a heart attack, EMSA spokeswoman Lara O’Leary said.

Oklahoma City police have had to deal with the wintry conditions, just like everyone else, Master Sgt. Gary Knight said.

“We have to drive on these icy, slushy roads. We slip and fall when walking on it,” Knight said. “We get cold — sometimes very cold. Particularly if we are out on a scene for an extended period of time, like a large accident scene or blocked roadway.”

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