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Vehicle hits Coal Center post office

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The Coal Center Post Office remains closed while engineers assess the damage. Submitted photo

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Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 1:31 a.m.
 

Coal Center residents will have to pick up their mail in California until repairs are made to their regular post office.

The Coal Center post office was damaged when a customer's car accidently struck the building shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday.

The office serves 90 post office box customers, U.S. Postal Service spokesman Tad Kelley said. Those customers will have to go to the counter at the California facility and show identification to pick up their mail.

The California site is open 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and noon to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays.

“This won't interrupt service,” Kelley said.

According to Southwest Regional Police, Julia Hartley, 87, of Coal Center, told police her foot slipped off the brake and hit the gas pedal.

Her vehicle jumped a parking block and struck the side wall of the building, causing considerable damage. The wall was pushed in and a desk inside the office was pushed away from the wall.

Postmistress Tina Treater was behind the counter at the time of the accident.

Some letter carriers were in the back of the office. No one was injured.

Hartley's daughter, Lonnie Doerfler, is an employee of the Coal Center office, but was off Tuesday. Doerfler said she received a telephone call from a postal employee informing her of the accident. Doerfler said Tuesday evening her mother was uninjured.

Kelley said the lobby and box service area were deemed structurally unsafe. No damage was done to the rear of the building, Kelley said. The post office rents the building, so the agency will await repairs before moving operations back there.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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