American flags at all post offices within the Sacramento Postal District were flown at half-staff Friday in memory of six-year veteran rural postal carrier William Gellaspie of Murphys, who died of injuries he suffered in a head-on collision yesterday afternoon in Sonora.
Highway patrol officers say 44-year-old Gellaspie was driving a private postal vehicle on Tuolumne Road, when a pickup truck swerved into the wrong lane colliding head-on with the small Jeep. He was off duty at the time.
Gellaspie was airlifted from the scene to Modesto´s Memorial Hospital, where he died shortly before 9:00 p.m. Thursday.
U.S. Postal Service spokesman Ralph Petty, in Sonora Friday with a team of Post Office Employee Assistant members investigating the crash and supporting post office workers, said the loss has been felt throughout the postal district.
“We held a moment of silence today, throughout the entire Sacramento District, all the way from the Oregon boarder to Yosemite area, because this employee is part of our postal family.
The Sonora area post offices will continue to keep the flag at half-staff until funeral services for Gellaspie, Petty said.
There are 27 rural carriers working from the main Sonora post office. Many have purchased the 1968-to-´83-vintage postal service, right-hand-drive Jeeps from the Post Office to use on their rural mail delivery routes, Petty said.