LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The thought of crossing FM 1638 to get mail brings up horrible images of a bad outcome waiting to happen for Nacogdoches resident Mike Harris.
Harris has been confined to a wheelchair for the past five years due to health issues. For the past year, the U.S. postal service has been delivering mail to his mother who lives next door. On FM 1638, the mailboxes line the opposite side of the busted asphalt.
"For the past year or so, the post office had agreed to pull into my mother's driveway and put it in a box and then turn around in the drive and go back out," Harris said. "I was told it is too dangerous for them to back out of my driveway."
On Sept. 15, Harris' mother passed away. Harris said by the following Monday, the postal service had removed the box from the family property and put it out across from his driveway.
"We talked to the carrier on the day my mother died," Harris said. "She told us they would make sure the mail was still delivered to the home."
Harris said for the past week he has relied on family members to come by and pick up his mail from the box.
"There was no reason for them to change it," Harris said. "I won't go down there, not in a scooter. I would hardly go down there whenever I had both legs. You would have to run across the road because they would be topping that hill out there like 55, 65, 70, 80 miles an hour."
Harris said he has seen plenty of wrecks and even fatalities in front of his home over the last 20 years and that is one reason why he does not want to attempt to get his mail.
"There's been a bunch [of wrecks]," Harris said. "Whenever my kids were here, I would not let them go in the front yard. It's been a week. As soon as I called them and told them the situation, they should have turned right back around and moved it back."
Harris even has a note from his doctor expressing his concern.
KTRE reached out to the U.S. Postal Service on the issue.
"The Postal Service takes the safety of our employees and our customers very seriously," said USPS spokesperson Arlene Sanchez. "We are currently working with local government officials to find a safe location to establish a mailbox for this customer. In the interim, we will re-establish delivery to the location where he previously received mail."
Harris was notified of the news and was relieved.
"I don't have a problem with the post office, but I think it is pretty sorry the way that they treat people," Harris said. "I don't care how it got fixed. I am just glad it is fixed."