A Columbus man found with empty alcoholic beverage containers nearby was pronounced dead of hypothermia on Wednesday at 10th Avenue and 15th Street, authorities said.
Dennis D. Blanton Jr., 64, was pronounced dead at 11:40 a.m. but may have died 10 to 12 hours earlier, said Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan. No foul play was suspected in the death and no autopsy will be performed.
Bryan said a delivery driver found the man in the driveway and several empty alcoholic beverage containers were near his body. Bryan said the death is accidental but was caused by hypothermia induced by alcohol.
Hypothermia occurs when the body loses more heat than it absorbs. Consuming alcohol thins the blood and reduces circulation in the body, the coroner said.
The man may have died about 11 p.m. Tuesday or later when the temperature plunged near freezing. The low Wednesday morning was 38 degrees.