Authorities released the name Thursday of a 59-year-old letter carrier who died from complications of a stroke she suffered immediately after getting attacked by a pit bull while on her rounds in a North County neighborhood.
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Diane Jansen of Sun City was pronounced dead at a hospital on Sunday evening, 3 1/2 days after the dog attack, according to the county Medical Examiner's Office. An autopsy determined that the cause of her death was a hemorrhagic stroke, with contributing factors of cardiovascular disease and dog bites to her legs, the coroner reported.
Jansen, a 5 1/2-year employee of the U.S. Postal Service, was working her normal delivery route when the terrier attacked her near the intersection of Carlann Lane and East Washington Avenue in Escondido last Thursday morning.
Tyson Wheeler told 10News Jansen had just delivered mail to his house and was talking about how much she loved her job prior to the incident.
"She was overly happy and was saying she loved doing it because she could work out and get exercise," Wheeler said.
The animal, which was not on a leash, was in a residential garage with several children just before it went after the postal worker, according to police Lt. Chris Wynn, who said the dog "just shot out of the ... partially closed garage door."
10News learned three juveniles were in the garage and no adults were present. One juvenile came out to stop the dog from doing any more damage.
"She started screaming and running before the dog was even up, I think the dog thought something was wrong and reacted instinctively. It wasn't an aggressive dog. I've pet the dog before with my 3-year-old son," Wheeler.
While medics were treating the victim at the scene, her speech began to slur and she eventually became unresponsive, according to a statement from the medical examiner.
Wheeler said he knew something else was wrong with the carrier soon after the attack.
"She was out of breath 20 minutes after being bitten. The bites were not that bad at all. She was just out of it and not doing well though," said Wheeler.
Jansen was taken to Palomar Medical Center, where physicians determined that she had a brain hemorrhage and admitted her to the intensive-care unit with a poor prognosis. She was removed from life support Saturday afternoon and died about 7:45 p.m. the next day.
The dog was impounded by animal-control personnel and euthanized, according to Wynn. Its owners were not cited, since police determined that no crime had occurred, the lieutenant said.
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