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Postal worker dead in fiery crash in central Phoenix

59-year-old Michael Blanton, who worked with the U.S.P.S. for 26 years, was pronounced dead on the scene after a box truck crashed into his mail truck.

PHOENIX — A United States postal worker was killed in a fiery collision in central Phoenix Tuesday evening, officials said. 

Around 6:18 p.m., the Phoenix Fire Department responded to a two-vehicle crash near 52nd Street and McDowell Road. 

Officials said a United States Postal Service vehicle was pulled over on the side of the road facing south next to a mailbox when a box truck crashed into it from behind. 

The collision caused the USPS vehicle to catch on fire. 

The postal worker, 59-year-old Michael Blanton, was pronounced dead on the scene. 

“He was a great husband. A great father. He loved to laugh,” said his wife, Andrea Blanton.

The couple would've celebrated their 30th anniversary in December.

Andrea said Michael, who liked to go by "Mike," took pride in serving with the postal service.

“Times like Christmas when it was busy and long hours. He felt like he was serving people," she said. "Helping to get the mail and packages they were expecting.”

The driver of the box truck was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. 

One of the drivers required extrication from their car, officials said.

The Phoenix Police Department said there were no obvious signs of impairment for either drivers. 

Phoenix Postmaster, Tina Sweeney, gave a statement expressing the department's grief. 

"We are all shocked and grieved at the loss of our coworker and friend. Michael was an employee that faithfully served the local community since 1995. He will be terribly missed," the statement read.

This is a developing story. 12 News will update as more information is provided. 

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