Meadville Tribune

February 11, 2014

Man who allegedly drove through Harmonsburg post office faces hearing

By Keith Gushard
Meadville Tribune

HARMONSBURG — While repairs to the U.S. Post Office in Harmonsburg have yet to finish, the person who allegedly damaged the building faces a preliminary hearing on charges filed by Pennsylvania State Police.

The building sustained major structural damage on its south side when a pickup truck struck the building Jan. 15 at 9:20 a.m., according to Pennsylvania State Police.

Interior work at the one-story brick building is finished, but the post office won’t reopen until exterior repairs are completed, according to the building’s owner.

“We need about 40 degrees (Fahrenheit) to do the brick work,” said Thomas A. Shearer of Hartstown, who leases the building to the U.S. Postal Service.

The masonry on the south exterior wall was half-cracked by the impact while on the interior, the service counter and roll-down door at the counter were destroyed, Shearer said.

With exterior masonry work still to be done, the 200 post office box holders of Harmonsburg must continue to travel approximately 12 miles round-trip to Linesville to get their mail. Harmonsburg residents don’t have home delivery service and, instead, pick up their mail and packages at the post office.

Meanwhile, the driver of the pickup truck that hit the building, John Shaw, 47, of Harmonsburg faces a preliminary hearing on state police charges filed in connection with the incident.

Shaw told police he attempted to depress the brake pedal when he entered the post office parking lot that morning but hit the gas pedal instead.

Shaw, who was wearing a seat belt, wasn’t injured in the accident and his truck, a 2001 Dodge Dakota pickup, received minor damage, police said.

State police charged Shaw with a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence and two summary counts — driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked, and careless driving.

Shaw faces a preliminary hearing on the charges before Magisterial District Judge Rita Marwood on Feb. 28.