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30 Years Service Ends In Tragedy

by Bill Stephens, Metro News Photojournalist | Updated Sunday, 14 January 2018 | 4:30 a.m. CT | Early Edition

McHENRY, IL - Today I was assaulted. Just 3 months short of turning thirty I was struck and killed. Attacked by what I have faced many times before, a snow plow. So on December 29, 2018 at 17:23:51 following the warning of flashing yellow lights and what sounded like a freight train traveling rapidly down the street.

I was struck! Not by the plow itself, but by the side of the dump bed that holds the salt. You see, the driver was “curbing” the snow and had his tires up against the curb not taking into account that the dump bed extends at least six inches over the tires. When that plow blade passed me I took a deep breath, as I thought I had survived this pass only to be wiped out by the side of the truck. The impact was like being hit with a George Foreman right hook or having my neck twisted and snapped by a Navy Seal neutralizing the enemy.
My owner ran out to see if I could be saved, but no luck. My feet were twisted off at ground level and my face was torn off and thrown 50 feet. Yes, there had been a mail delivery and the mail was scattered over the ground being quickly covered by the falling snow.

The plow and driver returned to the scene of the crime and assured my owner that I would be repaired as soon as possible. Three days later, I was taken to a warm warehouse to “rest” for the winter until the cold ground thawed and I could be properly repaired. Meanwhile, they called in a “temp” to stand in my place. I’ll call him ACE, at least that is what it says on the bucket his feet are in. He must be a cousin on uncle Vinnie’s side from Jersey if his feet are already in concrete. And I can only imagine where he will go after this assignment. Maybe some long term under water work?

Editorial Update:
 We are happy to report that the mailbox of 30 years is now back in service with a new post courtesy of the City of McHenry, Illinois Department of Streets & Sanitation. This event actually happened, but no person(s) were injured during the situation.

Editorial Correction: When we originally published this article, the date we ran in the "Byline" (under the title), the date in the second paragraph and the date in the "Cutline" (text under the video) was incorrect stating the year being 2017. This true-life story actually occurred in 2018 (this year).