A longtime UPS driver died earlier this week after falling ill amid a brutal heatwave in North Texas, the company and a union leader said.
Christopher Begley, 57, alerted UPS that he wasn’t feeling well as he was delivering in the Farmersville area on Aug. 23, the shipping company told PEOPLE in a statement. The highest temperature that day reached 101 degrees, ABC affiliate WFAA-TV reported.
Begley, who collapsed outside a customer’s location on Wednesday, was hospitalized on Sunday and died Monday, Dave Reeves, president of the Teamsters Local Union 767, which represents UPS drivers, told The Dallas Morning News.
The 57-year-old was met at his location after he reported his condition, UPS said in their statement. They “ensured he had water and was resting in a cool environment.” They went on to allege he declined medical attention “multiple times” and asked to be taken home.
“We are cooperating with the authorities as they continue to investigate the cause of death,” UPS said in their statement. “We train our people to recognize the symptoms of heat stress, and we respond immediately to any request for help.”
After requesting a few days off, UPS said they later learned that Begley had been hospitalized on Sunday and died on Monday.
Reeves told WFAA-TV that UPS still needs to provide Begley’s family “some answers as to what happened on his final day with the company.” He also wondered why Begley, who worked for the company for 28 years, wasn’t quickly rushed to the hospital.
An autopsy will determine his cause of death, according to Fox affiliate KDFW.
His death comes nearly a month after UPS reached an agreement with the Teamsters Union that would compel the company to improve working conditions for drivers, such as installing air conditioning in delivery vans, CBS News noted.
A message on a GoFundMe page said Begley was “a father of two and a loving husband” and that he was “looking forward to retirement.”
He “started delivering packages for UPS in 1995,” the message continued, noting that according to his family, he “hoped to retire in the next few years.”
As of Thursday, the page has raised nearly $1,000.