Friday, November 28, 2014

Second Vehicle Hits Post Office This Year
December 26, 2013 | No Comments

The fact a silver-grey Mercury Mountainteer sport-utility vehicle ran into the front of the Chesterland Post Office last Friday seems odd enough as it is.But the…

The fact a silver-grey Mercury Mountainteer sport-utility vehicle ran into the front of the Chesterland Post Office last Friday seems odd enough as it is.

But the fact that it’s the second vehicle to hit the post office in 2013 and the third in the past two years is mind boggling to officials.

The recent crash, at 12804 Chillicothe Road, occurred around 4:15 p.m. Friday, said Chester Township Police Chief Mark Purchase on Monday.

“There were no injuries to the people inside or to the vehicle’s driver,” he said, adding no one has been charged.

“There’s nothing really to say, other than it was a property accident,” the chief said.

He said it’s hard to find much of an explanation.

“People sometimes think they are in reverse and back up, but go forward instead of backward because they hit the accelerator,” Purchase said.

Russell Township resident Kelly Schmidt was in the post office at the time of the accident, according to information provided by Michael Picha, a Chester Township resident and broadcasting school student.

“Crack, crack, boom,” is how Schmidt described the noise as the SUV went through the walls.

“I thought the world was about to end,” she said.

One clerk and five customers were inside the post office when the SUV hit the building, Purchase said, verifying there has been damage to the building’s foundation.

The post office does not have any poles or barriers preventing vehicles from crashing into the building. On the front of the building, two access sidewalks enter into the north and south sides of the building lobby.

The building’s frontage is a few inches set back from about eight parking spots that border the building.

A post office clerk said Monday morning a damage estimate had not been provided yet and the manager was not present at the time.

There was no front counter service last Saturday. Normally, Saturday hours run from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., according to a sign on the post office door.

However, the lobby was open through side door for customers who have post office boxes.

Service was expected to resume Monday, the clerk said.

On Saturday, the Geauga County Maple Leaf witnessed drivers pulling into the driveway to view the damage, which was covered up with plywood.

To the left of the recent damage was a boarded-up window from when a driver hit the post office earlier this year.

Purchase said Monday that mishaps such as the post office crash are uncommon, but have manifested themselves with other nearby township businesses.

He said drivers occasionally drive up onto the curbs at Drug Mart, located at the Chester Square plaza north of town.

People need to be aware of their surroundings, the chief said.

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