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Winslow Man Dies from Heat Exhaustion, Police Say

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A Winslow man died from apparent heat exhaustion in Fort Smith on Wednesday, according to police.

Officers responded to North Fifth Street and P Street on Tuesday evening in reference to a possibly intoxicated person wearing only boxer shorts lying on the side of the roadway, said Sgt. Daniel Grubbs with the Fort Smith Police Department.

Emergency workers arrived and began working on Olaf Brian Cooper, 47, but he remained unresponsive, Grubbs said.

“It appeared like he was having trouble breathing,” said Grubbs.

The man was taken to a local hospital, where staff told police his core temperature was 108 degrees, according to a police report. He later died from apparent heat exhaustion and kidney failure, Grubbs said.

Police later found Cooper’s vehicle near the intersection of North Eighth Street and North Q Street.

The truck driver who called police to report the unresponsive man said Cooper appeared to be intoxicated. The caller said Cooper was standing up and walking before sitting back down.

Officers found Cooper in his boxers. Investigators believe he took off his clothes to try and cool off.

Dr. Bryan Clardy, Sebastian County Health Officer, says abnormal behavior can be a sign of heat exhaustion. He said, “People who are acting differently, behaving differently, any kind of delirious state, are probably having a heat stroke and need immediate attention.”

Dr. Clardy says a core body temperature above 104 degrees is dangerous and can happen quickly. “It can be within minutes, 20-30 minutes if someone's actively working hard and they're not acclimated to a hot weather environment,” he said.

Investigators say they did not find any marks or injuries on Cooper’s body. Detectives do not suspect foul play.