Brothers Obie, 72, and Roy Fugate, 67, were found dead of hypothermia on Saturday in the driveway of their home

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February 05, 2019 05:04 PM

Two Kentucky brothers were found dead of hypothermia on Saturday in the driveway of their home, police say.

Obie, 72, and Roy Fugate, 67, of Petersburg, collapsed in their driveway recently after they were forced to walk the lengthy drive back to their home in freezing temperatures when their truck got stuck in the mud, the Boone County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

The men were last seen on Jan. 29, and their bodies were found when a relative went to the home to deliver firewood on Saturday, police said. Temperatures in Petersburg on Jan. 29 reached as low as 14 degrees.

“Looks like he froze to death in his driveway,” the relative told a 911 dispatcher after finding one of the two men, according to WLKY. “The road is so bad, their truck was stuck.”

Authorities found the truck stuck about .6 of a mile from the brothers’ home, police said. Obie was found dead .3 of a mile from the house, and Roy was found dead on the front porch, just steps from the house.

Obie (left) and Roy Fugate
Boone County Sheriff's Office (2)

“They were noticeably frozen and it appears the elements during the infamous polar vortex could have been a factor,” Boone County Sheriff’s Lt. Philip Ridgell told WLKY.

RELATED STORY: FedEx Worker, 69, Found Dead at Delivery Hub After Collapsing in Freezing Temperatures

A preliminary report from the local medical examiner stated that both men died of hypothermia, police said in a statement. Between Jan. 29 and Saturday, temperatures plummeted as low as -5 degrees. At least 21 people have died as a result of the polar vortex, which has caused frigid temperatures throughout the Midwest and Northeast.

Dozens of people across the country have been hospitalized for symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite sustained as a result of the bitter cold, the The New York Times reported.

Among the dead are an 18-year-old University of Iowa student found outside a campus building; four men found frozen in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan and six Iowans who died in car crashes.

A pedestrian in Illinois died after being struck by a snowplow and a woman was found frozen in her apartment in Milwaukee after a “thermostat malfunction,” according to the Times.

The weather warmed up over the weekend after the regions took a severe beating due to the cold.

However, the warm weekend doesn’t mean the cold is through.

“It’s not the end of the movie yet,” Judah Cohen, a winter storm expert for Atmospheric Environmental Research, told the Associated Press. “I think at a minimum, we’re looking at mid-February, possibly through mid-March.”

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