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UPS driver dies after collapsing inside his delivery truck on scorching California day just after his 24th birthday

California employee Esteban Chavez Jr. died while delivering for UPS in June.

Chavez family/ABC7

  • UPS driver dies on the job a day after his 24th birthday.
  • In a statement, UPS directed questions to the officials investigating the death.
  • Chavez’s family has raised over $20,000 to cover funeral costs.

The father of a Southern California UPS driver is devastated after his son collapsed in his truck on a hot day in June and died — just one day after his 24th birthday, according to relatives.

Esteban Chavez Jr. was delivering packages on June 25 in Pasadena when he passed out and was discovered around 20 minutes later inside the truck, KABC reports.

Although his cause of death hasn’t been confirmed by the coroner, his family believes that heat stroke may be to blame. The week of his death, temperatures in the city had been in the high 90s.

Chavez’s family created a GoFundMe to cover memorial costs, and received more than $20,000 in donations in just six days. 

“It hurts, it’s a pain that’s never gonna go away. And that’s something I wish on nobody, having the experience to lose your child,” his father, Esteban Chavez Sr., told local news.

UPS issued a statement on Chavez’s death:

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our driver Esteban Chavez, and extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends. We are cooperating with the investigating authorities and are respectfully deferring questions about this incident to them,” the statement read.

After four years with the company, Chavez was reportedly returning to work for his second day after he had been on leave due to a shoulder injury. His family told local news that Chavez loved his job, and hoped to stay and grow with the company.

UPS faced backlash in 2019 about the risks of heat-related illnesses. A report from NBC News found that the temperature in the cargo area of a truck can rise to 140 degrees and higher – and that UPS trucks reportedly don’t have air conditioning. 

Then-vice president of public relations Steve Gaut told NBC News the frequent stops and the size of the vehicles would render air conditioning “ineffective.” For similar reasons, UPS doesn’t air-condition large warehouses with loading-dock doors that are usually open, he explained.

In 2006, the company introduced a program called “Cool Solutions” to raise awareness about the dangers of working in the heat. 

The 2019 report from NBC said the program includes educating workers at daily morning meetings on the symptoms of heat illness, and reminding them to drink water, seek shade, and report to a manager if they feel ill. 

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