An attack by an unleashed pit bull on a San Diego-area letter carrier contributed to the postal worker's death two days later from a stroke, authorities say. The carrier, 59-year old Diane Jansen of Sun City, had been working her route for 5½ years in the northern San Diego suburb of Escondido.
Upon arriving at the intersection of Carlann Lane and East Washington Avenue last Thursday morning, Jansen was greeted by the canine, according to a report by television station KGTV in San Diego. The dog emerged from a residential garage owned by a family with several children. The pit bull "just shot out of the ... partially closed garage door," according to police Lt. Chris Wynn.
Her speech began to slur immediately after the bite and she then became "unresponsive," authorities say. Jansen was then taken to the Paloma Medical Center, where she was diagnosed with a brain hemorrhage. Placed in the intensive care unit, she was taken off life support on Saturday. She died the following evening.
The dog was then euthanized with the owners' consent, according to the Los Angeles Times. The owners were not identified in local news reports, as the police concluded that no crime had been committed.
The incident took place next door to a hot spot for dog bites of postal workers. In neighboring San Diego, the 2010 total of 45 such incidents was only topped by Houston's, which stood at 62. (Columbus, Ohio, tied San Diego. Next on the list was Los Angeles, with 44.)
The existential struggles of the United States Postal Service beyond freak accidents have been well documented as the agency struggles to find its footing in the digital age. The plan to close and consolidate at least 223 processing centers is to be carried out over the next few years. But the bad news was put on hold, albeit temporarily, this week with word that the closures will be delayed across the nation during the upcoming election season. The decision was made to ensure proper delivery of absentee ballots, according to The Washington Post.
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