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Dallas USPS mail worker’s cause of death revealed in autopsy report

September 29, 2023


DALLAS — A Dallas USPS mail worker died from hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and hyperthermia back in June, according to an autopsy report released by the Dallas County Medical Examiner.

Eugene Gates, 66, died on June 20 while delivering mail on his route in Lakewood during the sweltering Texas summer heat. The heat index was above 110 degrees that day. His death sparked conversations about the working conditions of USPS letter carriers.

Gates’ official cause of death remained unknown until the release of the autopsy report, although union officials always suspected his death was heat-related. Hyperthermia is described as having an abnormally high body temperature. The medical examiner listed the following points for the hyperthermia diagnosis in the report:

  1. History that [Gates] experienced a witnessed collapse while working outdoors on the afternoon of June 20, 2023
  2. [Gates] was transported to a hospital where his rectal temperature was reportedly 104.6 degrees Fahrenheit
  3. Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessfully and he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival
  4. The outdoor temperature for Dallas on the afternoon of June 20, 2023 was approximately 97 degrees
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