The Free Press, Mankato, MN

News Ticker

Community News Network

December 11, 2013

Minnesota college student survives night on porch in subzero temperatures

DULUTH, Minn. — A University of Minnesota Duluth student suffered severe hypothermia and could lose her hands after she passed out on a freezing porch in subzero temperatures with only a jacket and boots to protect her from the cold.

According to KMSP-TV, Alyssa Jo Lommel, a 19-year-old sophomore from St. Cloud, Minn., had reportedly been dropped off near her home after a night of drinking, and ended up unconscious on a neighbor's porch. Overnight temperatures in Duluth dropped to -17 degrees, with a wind chill of -36.

KMSP reported that Duluth police issued a statement saying Lommel had been playing a drinking game with friends and may have consumed more than 10 tequila shots.

An unidentified friend who drove Lommel home told officers that amount was "no more than usual" for Lommel, and that she “wasn’t falling-down drunk,” the Duluth News Tribune reported.

But her friends did not stay to see if she went inside, and her roommates did not notice she was missing when they returned home a few hours later, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

She was on the neighbor’s porch for more than nine hours until a passer-by noticed her and called police. Lommel was transported to two separate hospitals, and remained in stable but critical condition Wednesday.

Lommel was not wearing gloves, and the cold caused her hands to swell up to three times their normal size. Doctors performed surgery to improve blood flow, in hopes of avoiding amputation.

"It’s very much a wait-and-see thing at the moment," Lommel’s mother told the St. Cloud Times. "We are hopeful that her body will heal itself."

The University of Minnesota-Duluth Police Department also released its own statement urging students venturing outside to "travel in groups."

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
  • Affirmative action ruling challenges colleges seeking diversity

    The U.S. Supreme Court's support of Michigan's ban on race-based affirmative action in university admissions may spur colleges to find new ways to achieve diversity without using racial preferences.

    April 23, 2014

  • A 'wearable robot' helps her walk again

    Science is about facts, numbers, laws and formulas. To be really good at it, you need to spend a lot of time in school. But science is also about something more: dreaming big and helping people.

    April 23, 2014

  • Cuba is running out of condoms

    The newest item on Cuba's list of dwindling commodities is condoms, which are now reportedly in short supply. In response, the Cuban government has approved the sale of expired condoms.

    April 23, 2014

  • The waffle taco's biggest enemy isn't McDonald's. It's consumer habits.

    Gesturing to Taco Bell, Thompson said McDonald's had "not seen an impact relative to the most recent competitor that entered the [breakfast] space," and that new competition would only make McDonald's pursue breakfast more aggressively.

    April 23, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

  • McCain 1 House Republicans are more active on Twitter than Democrats

    Your representative in the House is almost certainly on Twitter. Your senator definitely is. But how are they using the social network? Are Democrats more active than Republicans, or vice versa? Who has the most followers on the Hill?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Do your genes make you procrastinate?

    Procrastinators, in my experience, like nothing better than explaining away their procrastination: General busyness, fear of failure, and simple laziness are just a handful of the excuses and theories often tossed around. Now researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have added another option to the list: genetics.

    April 21, 2014