Postal delivery truck and 2,000 letters destroyed in Felton
by Peter Burke
Jan 15, 2014 | 7687 views | 8 8 comments | 67 67 recommendations | email to a friend | print

A postal delivery truck and more than 2,000 pieces of mail inside were destroyed by fire after the truck drove into a ditch in Felton early Tuesday afternoon.

The United States Postal Service truck driven by a mail carrier slipped into a ditch while delivering to a route on Tuesday, Jan. 14 on the 8200 block of East Zayante Road in Felton.

While the postal worker attempted to rock the truck out, something caught fire underneath and ignited the truck, burning the vehicle and all its contents. The driver escaped without injury.

The carrier had made 150 deliveries and still had 549 remaining along the route, said USPS spokesman Gus Ruiz. Close to 2,000 letters and 50 parcels aboard were destroyed.

“It’s one of those unfortunate things, but we are doing all we can to notify customers,” Ruiz said.

Felton Post Master Ray Furuta said the post office was drafting a letter on Wednesday morning that would go out to all postal customers along the route, notifying them of what they should do if they believe they are missing mail. According to the USPS website, the route includes some mailboxes along upper Quail Hollow Road, several portions of East Zayante Road and the vast majority of Lompico.

Postal workers are sorting through the remains to see what is salvageable and what can still be delivered, Ruiz said.

Zayante Fire got the call at 12:27 p.m., and upon arrival quickly put out the blaze which did not spread. Fire Chief John Stipes said it appeared the truck drove across a driveway and about 10 feet of lawn and drove into the ditch.

Stipes surmised the driver simply thought he was driving across a road to the next box, and tipped into the ditch.

“Unfortunately a lot of people didn’t get their mail yesterday,” Stipes said, noting that his crew found the head of a guitar in the rubble.

The driver, Furuta said, is experienced, but had only been driving the route for a short time.

Furuta said the forthcoming letter will explain to customers what to do if they were expecting mail.

The Felton Post Office, 6101 Gushee Street can be contacted at 335-8015. Its business hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.



Comments-icon Post a Comment
January 16, 2014
LLv's have been catching fire a lot this past year.
January 15, 2014
"Drove across a lawn" ?

"Tipped into a ditch" ?

"Something underneath caught fire" while the driver was attempting to rock the vehicle out of the ditch.

Something doesn't add up here.

No doubt it happened, just the way the story is written doesn't make sense.

Vehicles don't just catch fire for no reason.

And "tipping into a ditch" is not enough to start a fire.

Did this person get stuck and floor the gas until a tire caught fire?

Now THAT is a much more likely senario and it fits the facts.

January 15, 2014
The catalytic converter on the underside of a vehicle gets plenty hot to ignite vegetation. When a vehicle gets ditched like this one did, the catalytic converter lands directly on the ground and whatever grass happens to be there.

January 16, 2014
What a California story......... Drove across a road to the next box??? Just "how long" was this person experienced at driving>>>???? An LLV or an FFV drives the same as any other vehicle on the road, only the steering wheel, brakes, and gas are on the RHS of the vehicle. Other questions would be: how OLD is this person? Does this person have MUCH driving experience at all? Did the drivers glasses get misplaced?

Oh.....while on the California thought......has Marijuana been "legalized" there yet like it is in Colorado?????? Just wondering......
Steve Homan
January 15, 2014
I am glad no one was injured.

The USPS is drafting a letter to send to those affected on that route...Perhaps they should send it UPS.
Retired Carrier
January 16, 2014
I see a Letter of Warning being drafted.
Oh Iggy!
January 16, 2014
Probably some jackass running his route to stay in good graces with management. Keep running people! DOIS says you should be back. I don't care if you have to drive unsafe, get back on time! Drove into a ditch because the carrier was in a rush, thats the bottom line. Keep your hands at 10 & 2 like Noreen and bring lots of dog spray! Gotta get home to make mac & cheese!
January 22, 2014
Would it help to know UPS brings its mail to the usps to be delivered. Usps utilizes ups for air travel. Stay tuned for other information to follow. Thought you wanted to be brought up to date.

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