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Man dies after exposure to extreme cold in northeast South Dakota

WATERTOWN, S.D. — A rural Watertown man identified as 46-year-old Joseph Pesall died Thursday evening, Feb. 7, following exposure to extremely cold conditions.

A Codington County Sheriff’s Deputy responded to 172nd Street and 445th Avenue at approximately 6 p.m. for a male who was having difficulty breathing and was extremely cold after walking from a stuck vehicle.

The outside temperature at the time was 9 degrees below zero with wind chills reaching 40 below. Blowing snow made visibility near zero.

Upon arrival, the deputy — who’s also an EMT — ran approximately ½ mile in the deep snow and assisted a good samaritan with CPR and performed lifesaving measures on Pesall. The Watertown Fire Department was able to plow a path to the victim so an ambulance could reach him and make the trip to the hospital. Ambulance personnel continued CPR and lifesaving measures en route to the hospital, where Pesall was pronounced deceased.

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