A Los Angeles area postal worker died Wednesday after his legs were severed when he was hit and pinned between his truck and another vehicle. According to CBS Los Angeles, 31-year old Anthony Dunn Jr. was sorting mail near the back of his truck when he was struck by Felipe Soto, who claimed he had swerved to avoid hitting a dog. LAPD Investigators have a different theory of what caused the horrific incident – that Soto, who was driving with a suspended license, was asleep at the wheel.
Dunn’s legs were severed on impact and he was rushed to LA County USC Medical Center where he died from his injuries. Soto remained at the scene after the accident and was not taken into custody, though LAPD Officer Karen Rayner said they are still investigating and charges are likely. Soto reportedly works for Blue Horizon Trading and a photo of the accident suggests that the vehicle he was driving was a delivery truck. Blue Horizon refused to comment on the story, and it is unclear whether Soto was working at the time of the incident or whether the company was aware its employee was driving with a suspended license. The vehicle was impounded when authorities discovered Soto did not have an active license.
Given the gruesome nature of this tragedy, one would presume these types of accidents are few and far between. Sadly, that is not the case. According to PostalNews.com, this is the fourth known incident in recent years where a USPS worker has been killed or severely injured while working near the back of a postal truck. The blog entry reporting Dunn’s death on PostalNews.com starts with this shocking note:
“In 2006 Maureen DePrince, a carrier in Ventnor NJ lost both legs, her eyesight, and normal brain function after being pinned at the back of a van when a drunk driver crashed into it. In 2009 Roy Rondeno, a 34 year veteran carrier from New Orleans, just weeks from retirement, was sorting mail at the back of a van when a car pinned him, severing his legs. Rondeno died a week later. And just a few weeks ago, Columbus Ohio carrier Doug Poole was working at the back of his USPS van when he was pinned by an SUV, breaking both legs. According to the NALC, “He is still undergoing treatment and it’s questionable whether he’ll regain the use of his legs.”
Our thoughts go out to Dunn’s family during this difficult time. We hope tragedies like this remind drivers to always be aware of their surroundings and on the look out for other drivers and pedestrians on the road. If you’ve been drinking or are feeling too weary to drive safely, STAY OFF THE ROADS. There are no acceptable excuses for operating a vehicle under a state of cognitive impairment.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident, please contact our office immediately for a free consultation. You can also learn more about GoldenbergLaw, PLLC by visiting our website or at mncollisioncenter.com.
For more information on Anthony Dunn’s death and distracted driving, see the links below.