Peggy Frank was found dead in her postal truck after delivering mail in 117-degree heat.
Frank, 63, was discovered unresponsive in a postal vehicle in the 4800 block of Calderon Road by a bystander, said Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office, as reported by Daily News.
According to Winter, paramedics tried to revive the longtime U.S. postal carrier but to no avail. She was pronounced dead at 3:35 p.m. local time on July 6, 2018.
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Winter couldn’t say whether the heat was a factor in Frank's death. That day, temperatures in the Woodland Hills area soared to 117 degrees Fahrenheit.
An autopsy for Frank had not been completed, and the cause of her death has yet to be confirmed, Winter explained.
The spokesperson with the U.S. Postal Service, Evelina Ramirez, told Daily News: “We want to express our thoughts and prayers for the employee’s family at this difficult time."
Ramirez noted that carriers deliver the mail in “all kinds of weather, including high temperatures.”
“Safety is our top priority for all of our employees,” she said. “The Postal Service strives to ensure that they have the tools and training to do so safely”
Ramirez explained that all carriers are reminded every day to stay hydrated, use proper clothing, and get into the shade as much as possible.
“The most important thing is to make sure they have water and ice for their entire route,” she said.
Frank was just a few years away from retirement, her family said.
Her son, Kirk Kessler, told CBS Los Angeles that his mother's post office vehicle had no air conditioning.
“Carrying the mailbag around with no air conditioning in the car—yeah, I’m sure she’s probably gonna overheat,” he said.
Frank's sister, Lynn Calkins, told KTLA: “I can not believe it because I don’t think that it should have happened. I’m so sad because she was going to retire soon. Now she can’t.”
Calkins added that her sister suffered a heat stroke in 2017 during the summer. She placed part of the blame on the Postal Service. “They need to start caring about their people a little bit more,” she stated.