Talent post office reopens after wreck

TALENT — The Talent post office reopened Tuesday after a 75-year-old Talent woman crashed into the building Monday afternoon, closing the office until officials could assess the damage.

"When she got up to the building, she still had her foot on the accelerator and was burning rubber," said Lisa Rodgers, manager of the Talent post office. "It's pretty extensive damage. We had to lock the building down and move everybody out."

Rodgers said walls inside the building were shifted forward with the force of the crash, which occurred shortly before 1 p.m. The top of the walls are still connected to the ceiling, but the lower part of one wall has detached from the floor.

Talent Police Chief Mike Moran said the woman, Emilia Wandro, stepped on the accelerator thinking it was the brake, which caused her vehicle to ram the building. Wandro was not injured and was given a ride home, Moran said.

No one at the post office was injured and Wandro was not issued a citation, though police will send a request to Driver and Motor Vehicle Services to re-examine her, Moran said.

Cost to repair the damage has been estimated at $54,000, Rodgers said. The post office was closed Monday but reopened Tuesday morning at 7:30.

The 24-hour lobby will be open only during normal business hours until the damage is repaired so postal employees can ensure customers stay out of hazardous areas, Rodgers said. The post office will stay open during construction.

"We don't close down for anything other than safety issues," she said. Talent building inspectors have determined the office is safe for business while the repairs are being made, Rodgers said.

Wandro, whose contact information was unavailable, is a longtime Talent resident and customer of the post office, Rodgers said.

"The poor little lady came back and talked to me about it later in the day and was crying," said Rodgers. "I just hugged her and told her it was OK — a building can be fixed."

Mandy Valencia is a reporter for the Mail Tribune. She can be reached at 541-776-4486 or avalencia@mailtribune.com

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