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Fourth cold-related deaths confirmed this season in Cook County

At least four people have died of cold-related causes so far this winter season in Cook County, including a 60-year-old man who died early Monday on the Northwest Side.

Roman Knapik, 60, was found in the 5500 block of West Diversey, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Knapik, whose last known address was in the 5900 block of West Grand, was taken to Community First Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 2:01 a.m. Monday.

An autopsy found he died of hypothermia and cold exposure, with acute ethanol intoxication listed as a contributing factor. His death was ruled an accident.

A 59-year-old woman was found dead in the North Center neighborhood on Dec. 26. Lorean Karczewski, 59, was found in the 2200 block of West Irving Park Road, according to the medical examiner’s office. Karczewski, of the 4700 block of North Kilpatrick, died of coronary artery disease and cold exposure, and her death was ruled an accident.

Tyrone Fields, 51, who lived in the 3200 block of South Prairie in Bronzeville, died at University of Chicago Medical Center at 2 p.m. Dec. 9, according to the medical examiner’s office. An autopsy found he died of drug toxicity, with cold exposure listed as a contributing factor. His death was ruled an accident.

The first cold-related death of the season happened Nov. 29 in southwest suburban Summit. William Kuzma, 57, was pronounced dead at 9:43 a.m. at the southbound 1st Avenue/Archer Avenue ramp to I-55, according to the medical examiner’s office.

An autopsy found he died of hypothermia due to cold exposure, with alcoholism and heart disease listed as secondary causes. His death was ruled an accident.

Last winter, 26 people died at least partly from cold exposure in Cook County, according to the medical examiner’s office. During the 2013-14 season, there were 32 confirmed cold-related deaths.