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Speeding pickup forces postal vehicle off road

Mail carrier Christian Harding sits on the narrow shoulder off Olympic View Road, while Silverdale and Bangor post offices’ supervisor Harry Kleinfelter makes arrangements on his cell phone for another carrier to deliver the mail still trapped inside the crashed USPS vehicle. - Photo by Valentina Petrova
Mail carrier Christian Harding sits on the narrow shoulder off Olympic View Road, while Silverdale and Bangor post offices’ supervisor Harry Kleinfelter makes arrangements on his cell phone for another carrier to deliver the mail still trapped inside the crashed USPS vehicle.
— image credit: Photo by Valentina Petrova

With half an hour left on his route, Silverdale Post Office mail carrier Christian Harding was crowded off of Olympic View Road Thursday by a speeding truck and rolled his USPS vehicle into a steep ditch.

“A white pickup truck came up behind me really fast,” Harding said. “I had to hit the shoulder and it was soft and that’s all it took.”

Harding described the truck as a late 1990s Ford pickup and estimated its speed to be as fast as 60 mph. The speed limit on that stretch of road is 35 mph.

Harding, who has been a carrier for three months, had just pulled out of a stop, filling a cluster of mail boxes, when the pickup appeared behind him, ran him off the road, and sped away toward Anderson Hill Road.

The accident happened just after 2 p.m. in the 15000 block of Olympic View Road.

The postal vehicle landed on its right side, trapping Harding inside since drivers sit on that side of the vehicle. He said he climbed out of the back door as quickly as possible.

“I couldn’t get out any other way,” Harding said.

Harding, though rather shaken up, was unharmed save for a scratch on his left leg.

After several medic and fire units responded to the scene, all except for a sheriff’s patrol car left when it was evident Harding wasn’t hurt.

Harry Kleinfelter, a supervisor for the Silverdale and Bangor post offices, arrived at the accident.

“I’ve got to figure out first off how much damage is done to this rig and if it’s going to be drivable at all,” he said.

The mail for the last stretch of Harding’s route was still in the vehicle 30 minutes after the crash. Kleinfelter said if the load could be reached, another carrier would deliver the rest of the mail.

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