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Man rescued after cold night in Leverett woods

LEVERETT — A Belchertown man who police say spent at least 12 hours exposed to cold temperatures and snowy weather was rescued from the eastern end of Rattlesnake Gutter Road this past weekend.

Police Chief Gary Billings said the man was located inside his pickup around 8 a.m. by a group of joggers who use the closed road as a place to run.

The man, whom Billings described as in his early 40s, appeared to be suffering from severe hypothermia, was incoherent and had trouble walking.

“He was chilled right to the core,” Billings said.

The man was brought to the area of the Leverett Village Co-op, about half a mile away, where he was put into a vehicle to get warm and assisted by Leverett Fire Department EMTs.

An Amherst Fire Department ambulance arrived a short time later and brought the man to Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton for treatment.

Billings said the man appeared to have driven his truck to the eastern gate on Rattlesnake Gutter Road, which blocks access to the uninhabited portion of the road. He got out and lost his keys, so he couldn’t restart the engine, Billings said.

The man probably arrived at the location before 7:30 p.m. Saturday, as there were no tire tracks in the snow indicating a later arrival, Billings said.

Billings said police are investigating why the man went to the location and remained in his vehicle. He likely couldn’t call for assistance, as cellphone reception is poor at Rattlesnake Gutter. It remains uncertain why he didn’t attempt to walk to nearby homes or the Village Co-op.

The man’s family has been notified about the incident, Billings said.

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