Post Office damage

The Pima Post Office's eastern wall shows the damage it incurred when it was struck by a 2000 GMC pickup driven by 83-year-old Hazel Lawson.

The Pima Post Office suffered significant structural damage Feb. 28 after an elderly driver accidentally plowed her truck into its eastern wall.

A Pima officer was dispatched to the Post Office at 41 E. Center St. at about 9 a.m. regarding the collision.

According to the officer's report, Hazel Lawson, 83, of Pima was pulling into the Post Office's parking lot when her foot slipped off the brake and onto the gas pedal of her white 2000 GMC pickup truck. The truck jumped the park stop and slammed into the building. Lawson appeared shaken up but was not injured in the crash.

The truck was towed from the scene by Nutcracker Towing, and, because it was a private property crash, Lawson was not given a citation.

The impact of the collision threw the Post Office's interior parcel boxes seven feet across the room and into boxes on the other side, according to Post-master Kent Simmons. He described the sound of the collision as being akin to four sonic booms.

Simmons said a customer who was nearby narrowly missed being struck by one of the flying boxes, it was fortunate no employees were in the area.

He said a worker would have normally been stocking parcels in the boxes at that time, but he had stocked the parcels earlier in the day himself.

The collision caused significant structural damage to the wall and has forced the room's closure. Those with post office boxes have not been able to use them since the crash but have been able to receive their mail from Post Office employees on the other side of the building, which has remained open during its normal business hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

"The bricks are 18 inches out of plumb, and the only thing holding it together is some loose mortar," Simmons said. "It can come down at any time."

Simmons said a local contractor is set to repair the wall and is just awaiting the green light from the insurance company. He is optimistic that construction will begin soon, and customers may be able to use their post office boxes this weekend if everything goes off without a hitch.

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