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Letter carrier comes to aid of bloodied man

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COTTAGE GROVE — Jeff Hinchcliffe went from letter carrier to life saver during a recent mail route.

The postal worker’s fortuitous mail stop in Cottage Grove led to him helping an injured homeowner who was bloodied and sprawled motionless on a cold garage floor.

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Hinchcliffe was dropping off a package at Richard Faulkner Sr.’s home the afternoon of Feb. 24. He went to the front door and knocked. Nobody answered, but through the crack at the bottom of the garage door Hinchcliffe said he could hear a faint voice calling for help.

It was Faulkner, and he said he couldn’t move. The house and garage were locked, and Faulkner’s wife, Donna, apparently was not home.

Faulkner, 62, needed help but Hinchcliffe didn’t know what happened.

“It was hard because I had no idea what was going on inside,” he said.

Hinchcliffe called 911. An ambulance crew arrived “very quickly,” he said, followed by a police officer who went to the back of the house and kicked in a service door so first responders could get to Faulkner.

“There was a big pool of blood and he wasn’t moving,” Hinchcliffe recalled. “He was conscious but really wasn’t moving much.”

Paramedics transported Faulkner to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, according to Cottage Grove police. He was treated and released.

The Faulkners could not be reached for comment.

Hinchcliffe typically doesn’t go to the Faulkners’ front door during his daily route. Their mailbox is at the street, but he was delivering a package and the Postal Service brings those to the door.

The package was addressed to “Mom and Dad,” Hinchcliffe said.

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