Man drives SUV into Hixson post office

Man drives SUV into Hixson post office

May 8th, 2012 by Adam Poulisse in Local - Breaking News

David Compton, area maintenance technician for U.S. Postal Service, straightens a handicap parking sign that was run over by a postal patron Tuesday. The sign itself reads upside-down after the vehicle plowed into the lobby of the Post Office in Hixson.

Photo by Tim Barber /Times Free Press.

Postmaster Robert Dickerson was tending to the vehicles of the post office on Northgate Mall Drive when he heard "a big boom, and glass falling," he said.

He came around the corner to see the tail-end of an SUV sticking out of his building - the front lodged within the post office.

It happened around 3:30 p.m., Dickerson said, when an elderly driver attempted to pull into a handicapped parking space in front of the building, and instead accelerated over the parking block, ran over the metal handicapped parking sign, and drove a couple more feet before hitting the brick wall and glass.

"Getting over [the parking block] and the curb is what boggles my mind," Dickerson said.

About three customers and three clerks were in the building when the accident happened, but no injuries were reported, Dickerson said.

"Had it been a Monday, this lobby would have been full of people," Dickerson said.

It took nearly an hour to get the vehicle removed because the handicapped sign was bent backward underneath the rear, Dickerson said.

Although the accident pushed part of the concrete wall inside the post office and shattered a glass window almost entirely, there was no structural damage, just exterior damage, Dickerson said.

Crews are now working to clean up the debris - especially the glass - as to not affect today's business, area maintenance technician David Compton said.

"We're hoping for it to be cleaned up to allow for safe operation tomorrow," he said.

Compton and another maintenance worker oversee about 100 buildings in the region, he said.

"We average about one of these a year," Compton said.