The Christie administration is directing state agencies to help people in New Jersey affected by a mail truck fire Sept. 11 on the New Jersey Turnpike that caught fire after a collision that killed the driver.
The state Department of Treasury then announced it is working to assist residents in towns who had mail that may have been sent to government offices between Sept. 7 and Sept. 10.
The truck was carrying one day’s worth of mail to a variety of locations in central New Jersey, including letters and packages bound for some state government offices in Trenton and the surrounding area, the state said.
Affected zip codes begin with 079, 078, 070 to 076, 088 and 089.
As of about 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday, postal employees at The Hills posted office, with zip code 07920, said no inquiries had been made about possibly lost mail. That mail would be difficult to trace unless it was certified or registered as going on that particular truck, according to the post office.
"We're making arrangements to try to help out people whose mail was destroyed in this unfortunate fire," Bill Quinn, spokesman for the state Department of Treasury, said. "If people had payments that were due, we're extending the deadline on that until at least Oct. 15."
As of Tuesday, the USPS Consumer Affairs Office have not received any inquiries about lost mail, according to George Flood, the postal service's regional spokesperson. But concerned customers may call 800-275-8777 to report lost mail, he said.
The box truck burst into flames after colliding with a larger truck on the New Jersey Turnpike between exits 8 and 8A near Hightstown on Sept. 11, according to a release by the DOT.
The U.S. Postal Service now says the blaze and resulting firefighting efforts destroyed nearly every piece of mail on board.
The DOT release said Gov. Chris Christie has ordered state commissioners and agency heads to provide all necessary aid and, where appropriate, flexibility in the application of rules and regulations to those who may have had letters or packages on the truck bound for government offices. Also at Christie's order, all agencies will post information on their websites explaining how affected citizens can obtain assistance with issues resulting from the destruction of this mail.
Local residents can find an agency’s website by going to the governor’s website and clicking on the link at the top that says “Departments/Agencies,” and then click on the appropriate agency’s link. Residents can also call the Governor’s Constituent Relations Office at 609-777‐2500.