Postal big rig flips in Palo Alto

Thousands of letters delayed after Embarcadero Road cloverleaf accident

A U.S. Postal Service big rig flipped early Friday morning while exiting U.S. Highway 101 in Palo Alto, blocking east-bound access to Embarcadero Road from southbound 101 and delaying the delivery of thousands of letters for at least 24 hours.

The male driver, a postal employee, was not injured and there were no other injuries, Yaneth Michel, a supervisor at the Palo Alto main postal branch, said.

The accident occurred at about 7:10 a.m. while the driver was negotiating the turn on the cloverleaf exit from 101 about midway on the ramp. The cause of the incident is still under investigation, she said.

The truck is the biggest one the post office has and a huge jumble of mail took about five hours for postal employees to remove. The mail must be returned to the San Francisco facility for resorting, Michel said.

Customers will experience lighter than usual mail delivery on Friday but only letters will be affected. Regular mail volume should be expected again on Saturday, she said.

The California Highway Patrol was on the scene and had blocked off ramp access. The truck was towed at noon and road crews were cleaning up spilled fluids.

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Like this comment
Posted by David
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 25, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Will not be surpirsed if it is "Prima face, or too fast for conditions".

Like this comment
Posted by Zelda
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 25, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Don't they have any sorting machines in Palo Alto? No wonder the Post Office is broke? Kinda stupid to send back to San Francisco.

Like this comment
Posted by cheaper
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 25, 2011 at 6:37 pm

A centralized sorting facility requires a much smaller work force than multiple facilities spread around the peninsula.

Like this comment
Posted by Jill
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 25, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Zieda: "Kinda stupid to send back to San Francisco." Our mail has been sorted in San Francisco for years along with the rest of the Bay area. Even if you mail a letter in Palo Alto and it goes to Los Altos it will be sorted in San Francisco, that's why we have zip codes - DAA!!

Glad the driver was unhurt.

Like this comment
Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 26, 2011 at 11:45 am

The driver probably over cooked the curve. He may have thought he was carrying air mail and the truck could fly.

Like this comment
Posted by shard
a resident of another community
on Nov 26, 2011 at 1:16 pm

some of the negatives of making mail ride trucks more than being processed nearby!

Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 27, 2011 at 12:36 pm

That cloverleaf set of exits and entrances is one the worst I have ever driven on. It is so poorly designed. The angles are far too sharp and the merge points have too many blind spots. Now there are added obstacles at the end with those jersey barriers across the bridge. The most dangerous spot is when traffic gets onto Embarcadero westbound from 101 North. There is a "yield" sign but many cars either ignore it or don't see it as they turn around the curve.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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