MONROVIA, Ind. -- A Monrovia homeowner is fighting back after she says an INDOT plow damaged her mailbox for the sixth time.
Carol Youngblood, who lives along State Road 39, contacted Call 6 Investigates for help after her mailbox was completely destroyed during the snowfall earlier this week.
“My neighbor witnessed the plow take out the mailboxes,” said Youngblood. “It’s just frustration, and some anger I suppose.”
Youngblood said her mailbox was damaged five times last winter.
“They hit them, damage them, and now they’ve completely destroyed them,” said Youngblood. “I do appreciate the job the snow plow drivers do. It’s important and I get that, it’s a difficult job. But you know, getting your mailbox hit repeatedly? And it’s not just mine.”
Call 6 Investigates saw other damaged and missing mailboxes along State Road 39 in Monrovia.
Youngblood said replacing her mailbox is not only costly, it also takes time, especially since the mailboxes are cemented into the sidewalk.
“It’s not an easy fix,” said Youngblood. “We could put in something temporary but it will probably get hit as well.”
Call 6 Investigates took Youngblood’s concerns to INDOT.
“Even though drivers are exercising caution and care to prevent any kind of damage to our signs out on the roadway and even mailboxes, we do recognize that sometimes those instances do occur,” said Debbie Calder, spokesperson for INDOT’s Crawfordsville District.
“Despite INDOT plows traveling slower than the speed limit, it is the snow that is thrown from the plows that can sometimes cause damage to mailboxes.”
Calder pointed out drivers need to give plows room to do their work.
“You don’t want to tailgate or pass a plow,” said Calder.
Calder said homeowners experiencing repeat damage from plows may want to consider moving their mailboxes.
“Moving it just a few feet can help,” said Calder. “Before winter comes around, make sure you are inspecting your mailbox. Make sure it’s firmly in the ground and check for deteriorated posts and rusted metal.”
But Youngblood said it’s really not possible to move her mailbox.
“The state put these boxes in, we didn’t put these in,” said Youngblood. “It was after a road project, so we really had no control over how they were put in.”
Youngblood asked Call 6 Investigates to deliver a message to INDOT.
“I’d like to see if they could train their drivers to go a little slower,” said Youngblood. “Maybe it’s a driver training issue.”
Youngblood is filing a tort claim with the state, asking them to reimburse her $100 for the cost of replacing her mailbox again.
Call 6 Investigates requested figures from the state as well as the City of Indianapolis in terms of tort claims filed related to damaged caused by snow plows, but RTV6 has not yet received that information.
If you suffered damage to your car or property from a snow plow in Indianapolis, you can file a tort claim here.
For the State of Indiana, click here.
For a state claim, you have up to 270 days from the date of the alleged loss to file a tort claim with the state, and then the state has up to 90 days after that to review the claim and decide whether to pay it or not, according to Bryan Corbin, spokesperson for the Indiana Attorney General’s office.
“If the claim is not granted, then the claimant has up to two years from the date of the original incident to file suit in court, if they so choose,” said Corbin.
For a city claim, you have only 180 days after the loss to make the claim.