A family from Kent, England, has suffered a devastating tragedy after a delivery driver was found de ad behind his wheel after working seven days a week in the lead-up to Black Friday.
Warren Norton, 49, had been working incredibly long hours in the lead-up to the November 25 holiday in his role as a DPD delivery driver. He had been doing seven-day weeks for up to 14 hours each day trying to deliver as many parcels as possible.
However on Wednesday (November 23) – just two days before the annual discount holiday – his colleagues found him slumped over at the wheel of his Citroën delivery van at the DPD depot, The Sun detailed.
At first, they thought Norton must have been sleeping, so they tried tapping on his window to wake him up. After his colleagues realized he was unresponsive, they quickly smashed the window of the car so they could unlock his door. As they did so, Norton fell out of the driver’s seat and onto the ground.
Emergency services were called and Norton was given CPR, as well as defibrillation. Sadly, he was pronounced de ad at the scene. Norton, a single father, leaves behind a 14-year-old daughter.
A source told The Sun: “Warren has been working all the hours under the sun recently to deliver as many parcels as he could […] The managers try to coax you into working more days and longer hours because they know we’re self-employed.”
“The warehouse floor must be cleared of parcels at all costs,” they added.
According to the source, Norton had been a delivery driver for roughly two years, since the pandemic.
His working hours were often early in the morning from 06:00 AM to later in the evening at around 08:00 PM, and he may have been earning somewhere in the region of $150 a day, per The Daily Mail.
One man took to Twitter to write about his experiences having Norton as a driver, adding that he had delivered his company’s shirts several times. “This guy delivered my T-shirts to me. Last time was only yesterday. Genial, hard-working bloke. He knew me as ‘Chef’ as he used to smell the various curry smells coming from my kitchen when I opened the door, asking what was on the menu. Blo ody sad,” he tweeted.
A spokesperson for DPD has said, via The Mirror: “We are deeply saddened by the de ath of Warren Norton.
“Mr Norton was a self-employed driver, working for a supplier to DPD and was well known and regarded at the depot. Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this time.”
The company representative enough denied any allegations that Norton had been working over the legal limit, adding: “We absolutely deny any allegations of pressure to work long hours, and can confirm that, as a responsible carrier, we monitor every driver’s hours for legal and safety reasons.
“Mr Norton was working on average 5 days a week for DPD and the hours he worked were well within the legal limits.”
Per a 2018 BBC report, the widow of one particular driver was so terrified to take time off work that he failed to attend hospital appointments for his diabetes. Eventually, this was the cause of his sudden de ath in January 2018. A second driver di ed the same month, with his widow claiming that DPD had fined him $180 for taking time off for a hospital appointment.
At that time, DPD’s former CEO Dwain McDonald told the BBC: “We recognize that we need to improve the way we work with our drivers. While the self-employed franchise scheme has benefited thousands of drivers over the past 20 years, it hasn’t moved with the times and needs updating.”