Eugene and Carla Gates pictured left. Gabriel Infante and his mother Velma pictured right. Eugene and Gabriel both died while working outside in triple-digit-heat.
Los Angeles CNN  — 

Gabriel Infante, 24, was dazed and sweating in the unforgiving sun. The heat index was over 100 degrees on the fifth day of his new job installing fiber optic cables in the San Antonio, Texas, area.

Late that afternoon, he lunged at another coworker in a fit of delirium, alleging that his coworkers “were going to kill him,” according to his mother’s recollection of events told to her by Gabriel’s friend and coworker, Joshua Espinoza. Infante then fell and hit his head. The site supervisor demanded the police be called and that Infante be drug tested – even after EMTs arrived and said he was showing signs of a heat stroke, according to a lawsuit his mother filed in Bexar County, Texas, in June.

But Infante wasn’t overdosing. He was dying of heat exhaustion, and his body was shutting down. Infante later died in the hospital in the early morning hours of June 24, 2022.

“He went to work Monday. By Friday, he had his accident, and my son was gone Saturday morning,” Velma Infante, his mother, told CNN. “Basically, they told me his organs were fried.”

Gabriel’s body temperature was nearly 110 degrees by the time he reached the emergency room, according to the Bexar County medical examiner’s initial autopsy report that was conducted just hours after Infante passed.

“Any worker, in any type of job that you do, should be able to come home in the evening to their families,” his mother said.

The employer, B Comm Constructions, declined to comment to CNN.

From 2011 to 2021, there were at least 436 work-related deaths in the US due to environmental heat exposure. More deaths are expected as record-shattering heat becomes the new norm.

CNN spoke to two women who lost loved ones who died while working outdoors in the extreme heat.

“They cannot work under the same working conditions that they were working under 20 years ago. The weather is not the same anymore,” Carla Gates, whose husband Eugene Gates, 66, passed away this June while delivering mail in the Dallas area, said in an interview with CNN at her home in Texas. “We have to save these workers’ lives.” <