December 2, 2004

Accident Leaves Local Postal Customers Wondering If Their Mail Was Delivered

A tragic accident November 23 has forced local postal customers to scramble to replace mail sent out of the United States Post Office in Memphis.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, an accident occurred in Pike County on U.S. Highway 61 at approximately 1:00 a.m. A 2002 Volvo tractor trailer was southbound on Highway 61 when the vehicle went off the left side of the roadway struck a guardrail and then a bridge wall. The truck and trailer then went over the bridge wall and plummeted to the railroad tracks below. The vehicle then caught fire and was totally destroyed by the blaze.

The driver, Ross L. Croy, 41, of Dupo, IL, was killed in the accident. The truck, which was owned by J & N Trucking of Mt. Pleasant, IA, was a contract hauler for the U.S. Postal Service and was carrying a full load of mail from the USPS sorting center in Quincy, IL, to a similar stop in St. Louis.

According to reports from the U.S. Postal Inspectors at the scene approximately 97 percent of the truck’s load was destroyed in the fire.

The USPS reported that the truck was the first load of mail from Quincy to St. Louis and included some of the mail sent from areas with zip codes starting with 623, 634 and 635, an area that includes more than 230 post offices.

The load could have included mail sent from Memphis, zip code 63555, which would have been addressed out of the 623, 634 or 635 zip codes. Mail originating in Memphis to be delivered out of this area, is sent to the Quincy, IL, sorting center. From Quincy, the USPS sends a truck to Des Moines, IA, Kansas City, MO and two trucks to St. Louis.

“There are two trucks that are dispatched on that route daily,” said USPS communications officer Burt St. John. “At this stage in the investigation we have not determined how much mail any one community may have lost.”

St. John indicated that mailers should attempt to contact the intended recipient of mail sent from Memphis on either November 21 or 22 to determine if it had been received yet. He added that if the mail had not been received, then it likely was destroyed in the accident.

Unless the parcel was insured by the mailer, there is no financial recourse available for the sender. If the mail piece was insured through USPS when it was sent, the mailer can contact the originating office to start the paperwork to receive reimbursement.

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