Lessons learned from mail carrier’s tragic death

The crash on an emergency lane on U.S. 62 is a reminder for drivers to use caution when approaching a postal worker. Paula Brown of Fredonia, Kentucky was killed while delivering mail. A Chevrolet Tahoe was traveling east bound and hit the back of Brown’s Jeep Cherokee. Her SUV went into a nearby ditch.

U.S. Postal Service spokesman David Walton says drivers could help out a lot if they’d pay more attention. There are many blind spots and curvy roads. Oftentimes there is no room for a carrier to get over and be safe from oncoming traffic.

Brown worked as a mail carrier for 24 years. She knew mail delivery so well that she trained other rural post offices on how to stay safe. The accident was a huge surprise to her friends in the mail room, including Princeton Post Master Jim Greenwood. “Today was a very somber morning to arrive and not have her presence, because she had a great demeanor about herself and she brought life to the office,” Greenwood said.

Greenwood said, whether you’re on foot delivering mail or in a car, you have to multi-task. A postal worker has to watch for oncoming traffic, because drivers may be texting, speeding, or just not paying attention. It’s a service to many, but it can be a dangerous career, Greenwood said.

Walton says drivers should be more careful, too. “Follow the speed limit signs, and just make sure you’re aware of your surroundings. Again, our carriers, they can be stopped, and you might not notice it until you get right up on them,” Walton said.

Brown was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. Walton says if you’re driving as a privately owned left-handed drive vehicle, like Brown was driving, and you deem an area safe, you don’t have to wear one. You also don’t have to be directly in front of a steering wheel.

Funeral arrangements for Brown will be held at the Lakeland Funeral Home in Eddyville, Ky. The visitation is from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Thursday. The funeral is Friday at 2 pm. 

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