Miami Postal Worker Dies After Falling Into Storm Drain

Man was trying to get cellphone when he fell into storm drain: Coworker

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    A U.S. Postal worker killed when he accidentally fell into a storm drain. (Published Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012)

    A U.S. Postal worker killed when he accidentally fell into a storm drain in the parking lot of Miami's main post office early Tuesday was remembered as a great man by his grandson.

    "He was everything you wanted in a father figure, and a husband to my grandfather and a coworker," Rick Munne told NBC Miami.

    Munne's grandfather, 70-year-old Shelby Wing, somehow fell into a storm drain at the Miami Processing and Distribution Center at 2200 Northwest 72nd Avenue just after midnight Tuesday.

    Authorities were not immediately sure how it happened.

    "Postal employees are deeply saddened by the passing of their co-worker who was a dedicated employee for more than 25 years," USPS spokeswoman Debra Fetterly said in a statement. "His family has been notified."

    A coworker, who didn't want to be identified, said Wing drowned trying to recover his cell phone.

    Munne said his grandfather had just celebrated his 70th birthday on Super Bowl Sunday, where he showed off his famous appetite.

    "We had a great time, we cut a cake, and had some great Korean food. My grandmother's Korean, he loves that Korean food," said Munne. "He'll always be known for his appetite."

    Wing also owned the Chang's Palace Chinese Restaurant in Miami. Despite his long hours, the Postal Service said Wing's colleagues remarked about his tireless work ethic, and friendly smile. Grief counselors were called in to help them cope with the sudden loss.

    Miami Police said an autopsy would be completed later Tuesday.