Man collapses on front porch; family says mailman walked by to deliver mail, didn't help dying man

U.S. Postal Service defends carrier

DENVER - Family members of a west Denver man who collapsed and died on his front porch said a mail carrier walked by the body to deliver the mail, but did nothing to help.

"I don't know how he sleeps at night," said Hedy Porch, the man's wife.

On Nov. 2, her husband, Dale Porch, was dropped off at home after working the graveyard shift for the Regional Transportation District, but he never made it inside.

"My brother-in-law walked up these steps, got to this step here and collapsed," said Kimberly Cordova, Dale Porch's sister-in law. She pointed to the mailbox just a few feet away.  "So, the mailman literally was right here, and he was right here collapsed on this step."
 
The grown son of Porch discovered his father about an hour afterward and called 911.  Efforts to resuscitate Porch were unsuccessful.
 
Dale Porch was only 46 years old. While waiting for an autopsy report, family members wonder if his death could have been prevented.
 
"When we found the body later around noon, he was still warm. Maybe if the mailman had done something, he would still be here," said Cordova.
 
A spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service said the agency is investigating.  
 
The carrier has been temporarily taken off the route, but officials are defending his actions, saying when he saw the man's body on the ground last Friday, he thought it was a decoration left over from Halloween.
 
"He told us he thought it was a mannequin," said Hedy Porch.
 
In a statement to 7NEWS, a USPS spokesman said:
 
"We know this carrier to be a conscientious and dedicated employee. He is someone who would not fail to help a customer, if he knew they were in need ... Our carriers have a long history of assisting customers in neighborhoods across the country, each and every day, and that holds true for our letter carriers here in Denver.

"This is a very unfortunate situation and one that probably would not happen any other time of year. We are very sorry for the family's loss and have conveyed our condolences, and those of the carrier, to the family."

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