Postal worker, nearing retirement, dies in record-setting CA hea - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Postal worker, nearing retirement, dies in record-setting CA heat

A beloved postal worker nearing retirement was found unresponsive in her mail truck in CA amid triple-digit temperatures. She was pronounced dead at the scene. (Source: KTLA via CNN) A beloved postal worker nearing retirement was found unresponsive in her mail truck in CA amid triple-digit temperatures. She was pronounced dead at the scene. (Source: KTLA via CNN)

LOS ANGELES (KTLA/CNN) – A beloved postal worker nearing retirement was found unresponsive in her mail truck on a record hot day in California.

Attempts to revive her failed, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

A family member said she wants changes at the U.S. Postal Service.

"I cannot believe it, because, I don't – I don't think that it should have happened," said Lynn Calkins, the sister of Peggy Frank, the postal worker who died.

A dedicated employee with 28 years of service, and close to retirement, Peggy Frank had just returned to work from medical leave.

Tragedy struck Friday, her first day of work in months after suffering a broken ankle, according to family.

The 63-year-old was found unresponsive in her mail delivery truck as temperatures topped more than 115 degrees in the record-breaking heat.

"I am really so sad because she was going to retire really soon. Now she can't," Calkins said.

Some of Frank's distraught relatives flew to L.A. from Arizona, still in shock that the vibrant mail carrier died so suddenly.

Coroners confirmed that while an autopsy has been performed, the cause of death is still pending, so it's unclear how she died.

But Frank's family believes the extreme temperatures, which they said gave her heat stroke last year during the scorching summer months, may have been a factor.

"And they need to do something, because … they need to start caring about their people a little bit more," Calkins said.

A representative from the U.S. Postal Service said in a statement that: "It’s been a very challenging time. Our thoughts and prayers are with the employee's family at this time."

That spokesperson added that while mail trucks aren't equipped with air conditioning units, "The safety of employees is always a priority – also that workers are reminded every day to stay hydrated, wear appropriate clothing and hats, carry sufficient amounts of water and ice and to stay in the shade as much as possible.”

Calkins, who recently vacationed with her young sister, said she still can't believe Frank is gone.

She hopes Frank's story will lead to safety improvements for these service workers who are often exposed to the harshest of environments, even with the official cause of her death still undetermined.

"They just need to change things a little, so it doesn't happen to anybody else," Calkins said.

She said that change should start with the installation of air conditioning systems in all mail delivery trucks.

Copyright 2018 KTLA via CNN. All rights reserved.

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