Man suffers hypothermia

Police say New Year's Eve otherwise quiet in Steamboat area

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— An unidentified Oak Creek man who spent 18 hours in the snow overnight through the New Year's holiday survived, suffering only severe hypothermia, fire officials said Thursday.

The 44-year-old man apparently left his house in the 100 block of Virginia Street at about 6 p.m. on New Year's Eve to feed horses, Oak Creek Fire Protection District Chief Chuck Wisecup said Thursday. The man's horses are on adjacent land just outside town limits, Wisecup said.

The man was intoxicated and never made it back to the house Wednesday night and was found frozen but alert and conscious in the snow on his property at about noon Thursday, Wisecup said.

The man was transported via ambulance to Yampa Valley Medical Center and did not appear to have any other injuries.

"All we could tell is, he had severe hypothermia," Wisecup said. "He didn't have any indications of frostbite, but sometimes you can't tell until they get warmed up."

In Steamboat Springs, New Year's Eve was "pretty uneventful," Steamboat Springs Police Sgt. Gerard Geis said Thursday. No bar fights or serious problems among revelers were reported.

"There was obviously a whole lot of people in the bars, but everyone behaved, and we didn't have any of the mischief we might have expected," Geis said. "Having it fall midweek, I think, helped."

"We chased some guy dressed up like a bumblebee around and took him home to his mom. That was about it," Geis said. "Really, people were well behaved last night."

Three people were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence during the early morning hours Thursday - one by the Routt County Sheriff's Office, one by the Hayden Police Department and the third by the Steamboat Springs Police Department.

The statewide "Heat Is On" DUI enforcement period, which began at 6 p.m. Wednesday, will continue through the weekend, ending at 3 a.m. Monday.

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