JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville mail carrier is getting bad marks for her driving after a video shows her truck driving through a homeowner’s yard.
Willie Hall, who lives in the Harborview community of Northwest Jacksonville, turned to the News4Jax I-TEAM to get the U.S. Postal Service driver to stop tearing up his grass.
“I maintain it, I make sure that the grass is cut,” he said. “I make sure that it looks good. So I just want it to stop. I want my mail delivered without the grass and the sod and the area in front of my house being damaged.”
He said the problem happened several times over the course of the year.
“It’s really just embarrassing, you know, when you drive by and there’s a big hole in your yard right in front of your house,” he said.
He noted the divots were a mystery at first.
“I didn’t know who was doing it,” he recalled. “A couple of my neighbors noticed it while I was at work, and said that it was a mail truck that was doing it, so I had my camera sensors turned up, and it finally popped up the mail truck doing it.”
His security camera provided the proof. It happened again and again, he said, showing how the camera caught the mail carrier driving into his yard and turning around on his grass while on her route.
He claims she did it a dozen times.
“I’ll fix it,” he said. “I’ll get the shovel and replace the dirt and wait a while to see if it’s not going to continue to happen, see if somebody’s noticing what they’re doing.”
He filed complaints with USPS but said he got nowhere. So he turned to the I-TEAM.
After emailing the USPS media team, a representative for the area said they’d work with Hall to fix his problems. A case manager visited a few days later, she took his statement and saw the problems, but Hall said it didn’t solve anything. He didn’t hear back. When he followed up, he was told to file a claim online. Back to square one.
“This last job was about 300 dollars,” he said, noting the jobs add up. “There’s about ten pieces of sod that had to be placed down here, so that really adds up.”
Hall hopes to get the post office to pay for the damage and more importantly stay on the road.
A USPS spokesperson, Carol Hunt, said the driver had been notified and the customer was contacted. In an email, she wrote:
“The U.S. Postal Service delivers to over 156 million addresses, six days a week and we take great care to protect both postal property and customers’ personal property. Unfortunately, rare instances of property damage do occur. We apologize for any inconvenience this incident may have caused for our customer. The Postal Service is governed by specific guidelines regarding tort claims. In this case, we are working with the customer to assist with filing a claim in order to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. We encourage customers to share any concerns with their local Post Office or contact us at 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) or at www.usps.com/help.”
Hall said, after months of complaints and bringing his problem to the I-TEAM, he finally received some closure: a $100 check to pay for the latest repair to his grass. He said USPS asked him to get two estimates and prove he owned his home.
He said it was a long process, one that he doesn’t want to go through again.