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Woman freezes to death as husband lies helpless nearby

A 74-year-old woman froze to death after she tried to help her wheelchair-bound husband outside their US home, according to authorities.

Maria Riffe died as her immobile husband lay about 18 metres from her, both unable to help each other, said Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills.

Roy Riffe, 86, was in a motorised wheelchair going down the concrete path at their home in central Georgia when he ran off the walkway and fell out of the wheelchair.

Mr Sills said Maria Riffe, who relied on a walking frame, fell while trying to help her husband, leaving both helpless.

Investigators said Mr Riffe was probably able to survive the night because he was wearing a jacket and fleece trousers. His wife was only wearing a dress.

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