Widow Of Postal Worker Killed On Duty Wants Justice, Policy Changes
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A Lawndale widow Wednesday night demanded justice for her husband, who was killed while delivering U.S. mail by a man driving a “bandit” taxi without a driver’s license.
“I miss him so much. I can’t be in my room no more. I say when I go home I start crying, can’t sleep in my bed,” said a distraught Janell Dunn, who lost her husband, Anthony nearly two months ago.
She said her and Anthony had planned on starting a family.
“This year was the year we were going to start a family, buy a house. You know we worked so hard for this and now all of a sudden our dreams got taken away from us,” Dunn said.
The 31-year old was killed while doing his job delivering the mail, working as a carrier for the United States Postal Service.
He was sorting mail behind his truck when an unlicensed driver plowed into him, severing his legs.
The driver of the shuttle van, Felipe Soto, had a suspended license and no insurance, while driving an illegal taxi for a company that goes by the name Blue Horizon.
Dunn said she is upset that Soto is only facing misdemeanor charges in traffic court.
“Right now it’s like he’s just getting a misdemeanor. And like, ‘OK, it was just an accident, bye.’ And I don’t think that’s right, Anthony lost his life,” Dunn said.
“These companies clearly are concerned about making money and they’re doing so while breaking the laws,” said Dunn’s Attorney, Walter Mosley of Mosley, Engelman, Jones.
Mosley is representing Dunn in potential civil litigation against the company for allegedly hiring unlicensed, bandit drivers in Downtown L.A.
They said that they would also like to see the USPS do more to protect employees’ safety. Another carrier was struck and killed in New Orleans in 2009.
“You don’t have to be on ‘CSI’ to determine that in the middle of oncoming traffic, you’re sorting mail with your back to the traffic, that accidents occur every day, but it’s not a safe procedure,” Mosley said.
The USPS responded in a statement expressing their condolences and support for the Dunn family.
“The accident occurred during the few moments that Mr. Dunn was standing behind his vehicle loading mail in his bag for delivery to the neighborhood. The vast majority of service vehicles for all delivery and transportation companies load and unload from the rear. Unfortunately, we cannot predict every kind of accident or plan for poor driving practices of third parties,” the statement read in part.
Soto was due to be in traffic court on Friday.
Dunn said that she hoped the city attorney considers filing additional charges in the case.