Driver crashes onto steps of Modesto post office

A driver parking in front of the downtown post office Thursday put his foot on the gas instead of the brakes, jumped the curb and rumbled up the five steps outside the entrance before his pickup truck came to a stop.

“I feel like an idiot,” said the driver, 68-year-old Modesto resident Mike Chambers, who said he’s been a customer at the I Street post office for decades.

No one was injured in the 12:15 p.m. accident, said Modesto police community services officer Lavonne Nicolai.

The post office did not close because of the accident.

Steven Milone said he was standing at the top of the steps outside the post office gathering signatures for ballot initiatives for the November election when he heard the 1996 Mazda pickup truck coming up the steps.

“I had to do the run and dive move,” Milone said.

Chambers said he mistook the gas pedal for the brake as he pulled up to park. Vehicles park at a diagonal in front of the post office. He ran over a parking sign near the curb and one of the railings on the steps.

Chambers was not cited. Modesto Postmaster Cory Sandobal said the building is owned by the federal General Services Administration.

"The GSA will decide what, if anything, they are going to require from that gentlemen to pay back," Sandobal said.

Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at 578-2316.