A Southern California family is in mourning after their son, a UPS driver, died just a day after his 24th birthday.
Esteban Chavez Jr. of Downey was delivering packages in the Pasadena area last Saturday when he collapsed. The family believes he may have died from heat stroke.
According to the family, Esteban apparently passed out in his truck in the early afternoon, and there was at least a 20-minute gap before someone noticed and called for help.
“This is all so sudden,” said his father, Esteban Chavez Sr. “He just turned 24 on Friday and he ended up passing away the day after, which was the 25th.”
“It kind of hurts that I wasn’t there to pick up my son. It hurts a lot. But I like to think God had a calling for him. They say the good die young. I’m sure my son was one of them.”
“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.”
The coroner’s office is still working to determine the official cause of Esteban’s death. But his family hopes the tragedy can at least serve as a warning and reminder to others who work in the summer heat: Take precautions, drink plenty of water and keep cool.
A GoFundMe page has been established to help the Chavez family with funeral costs.
Not only was it the day after his birthday, but it was the second day after he had returned to work following a shoulder injury.
Esteban – who also went by “Stevie” or “Lil’ Stevie” – had been working for UPS for four years, and loved his job. He hoped to stay and grow with the company, his family says.
A dedicated Dodger fan, one of the highlights of his job was delivering a package to manager Dave Roberts’ home and snagging a selfie with him.
UPS issued a statement:
“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.”