WOODLAND HILLS—On Friday, July 8, a 63-year-old postal service carrier, Peggy Frank was found dead inside her postal truck in Woodland Hills. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures reached 117 degrees in the area during an extreme heat warning.
Frank was found unresponsive in the 4800 block of Calderon Road, the Los Angeles Daily News reported. Paramedics attempted to revive Frank, but she was pronounced dead on the scene. KTLA reports that Frank had just returned back to work after suffering a broken ankle. Frank worked for the United States Postal Service for almost 28 years and was nearing retirement. Frank was a mother of two and a grandmother.
Some of Frank’s family members expressed their concerns that USPS trucks are not air conditioned. Lynn Calkins, Frank’s daughter, told KTLA, “I’m so sad because she was going to retire soon. Now she can’t.”
“[The U.S. Postal Service] need to start caring about their people a little bit more. They need to change things a little so it happens to nobody else,” Calkins added.
“The unfortunate incident involving this employee remains under investigation. This includes the underlying cause(s) of the employee’s death. The safety of our employees is a top priority and the Postal Service has implemented a national Heat Illness Prevention Program (HIPP) for all employees. In connection with the HIPP, the Postal Service provides mandatory heat-related and other safety training and instruction to all employees and assures they have the resources needed to do their jobs safely. Carriers are reminded to ensure they’re hydrated, wear appropriate clothing, including hats, get in the shade whenever possible, and to take sufficient amounts of water and ice with them out on their routes,” said a spokesperson for the United States Postal Service.
On Monday, July 9, Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County Department Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office indicated to the LA Daily News he could not confirm whether or not heat was a factor in Frank’s death. While the autopsy was completed, the exact cause of death is pending additional tests, Winter noted.