Elderly man in wheelchair rescued after spending hours outside in frigid temperatures

SANDUSKY COUNTY, Ohio-- Local law enforcement officials saved the life of an elderly handicapped man, and they did it in frigid temperatures just before it turned deadly.

“As soon as I heard the call, I became concerned,” said Sandusky Sheriff’s Sgt. Eric Arquette. “It was 15 degrees out that morning, and with him not being dressed for the elements the outcome could have been very devastating.”

Green Springs Police Chief Charles Horne said the man left an assisted living facility during the day Friday on his motorized wheelchair.

“This gentleman often goes out and he enjoys going to the store and visiting businesses,” Horne said. “However, the staff got really concerned when he wasn’t back and it was late.”

The staff contacted sheriff officials and police around 1:45 a.m. Saturday.

Sgt. Arquette said he drove in a wooded area near the facility and spotted the reflector on the man’s wheelchair.

“The wheelchair was upside down,” Arquette said. “I got out of my vehicle and I saw a shoe in the water, the wheelchair, and a scarf on the ground. I didn’t find him and I called for everyone who was searching to come to the area.”

Chief Horne went to the area, and about four minutes later he found the man.

“He told me he felt great, but he was wet and cold, so I put my coat on him,” the chief said. “He was so cold, his skin was the color purple.”

The man was taken to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

“I am extremely proud of Sgt. Arquette and everyone who made sure the man was found as quickly as possible,” said Sandusky Chief Deputy Ed Hastings. “They all did a great job.”