Open Door on Postal Service Truck Loses Mail Over 65 Miles of Missouri Highway

By January 21, 2011Trucking Accidents

As a St. Louis semi truck accident lawyer, I was interested to see reports about an unusual accident involving a mail truck. As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Jan. 17, the back door of a big rig came open as it ferried mail from St. Louis to Memphis early the day before. The accident left pieces of mail along 65 miles of road in three counties, but fortunately didn’t cause any crashes. Authorities believe they’ve gathered most of the lost mail, which seems to exclusively be business mail rather than personal mail. Postal employees plan to get in touch with those companies to ensure that the bills get through to recipients, who are mainly on the West Coast. They declined to speculate on what caused the spill, but plan an investigation.
According to KDSK, the mail truck belongs to a private contractor rather than the U.S. Postal Service. The truck left a processing facility in Maryland Heights, Mo., early Jan. 16 and headed down Interstate 270 and Interstate 55. It was 65 miles from the processing center and 7:30 a.m. before the unnamed truck driver noticed or was notified that the back of the truck had opened and loose mail was escaping the truck. Postal authorities aren’t sure whether the back door had been left open through carelessness or had broken. Either way, however, mail ended up scattered across the highways from Maryland Heights to St. Genevieve County, Mo. State troopers, postal inspectors and local police searched the snowy roads until about 10:30 a.m. to recover as much of the mail as they could.

As a Missouri tractor-trailer accident attorney, I’m pleased that this incident was more of an embarrassment for the Post Office than an emergency. Losing a load of mail may not sound like a big threat to other drivers, but losing cargo can pose a danger on the road. In this case, a vehicle following behind the truck could have been hit by a large chunk of mail, or forced to take evasive action when it dropped in the driver’s path. A flood of loose mail could also impair the driver’s vision rather than creating a physical obstacle. Either way, this could be dangerous on the icy roads we’ve had lately, requiring quick movements at high speeds that lead to slipping. This is true of any type of cargo loss, which is why it’s important for truck drivers and trucking companies to pay close attention to the security of their loads. Improperly secured cargo, loads that put all the weight on one side and other problems can unnecessarily cause or exacerbate crashes.


Carey, Danis & Lowe has a special focus on tractor-trailer accidents because this type of accident truly is special. Unlike crashes between two ordinary cars or trucks, crashes between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle are almost always very serious. The massive weight and size of big rigs means they can do far more damage in a crash, sometimes leaving the people in the car dead or permanently disabled. Our southern Illinois 18-wheeler accident lawyers help clients win financial compensation for injuries like those, when the accident was caused by the carelessness of the trucker or trucking company. In addition to compensation for the loss of a loved one or an ability, victims can win all of their past and future medical costs and other costs related to the injury.
If you or someone you love was badly injured in a trucking accident caused by someone else’s carelessness, you should call Carey, Danis & Lowe. We offer free, confidential consultations, so you can tell us your story and learn about your legal rights at no further risk. To set one up, send us an email or call 1-877-678-3400 today.