Child Locked in UPS Dropbox


Truck driver Michael Ford made a stop in Buena Vista Township located just outside of Saginaw last Thursday. That’s when he saw a frantic parent trying to rescue his four-year son from a United Parcel Service drop box. It all happened at the Flying J truck stop. Apparently the kid got in the mail box through an open door. The child’s older brother closed the door behind him and he became trapped inside. The boy’s father didn’t have a phone and that’s when Ford stepped in to help.

“He was freaking out throwing his arms up saying ‘my son’s trapped inside! My son’s trapped inside!’ After I made the 911 call it was like 10 minutes and they showed up,” Ford said.

Aaron Hoeppner is one of the firefighters called to the scene that day. WNEM caught up with him to get his thoughts on the rescue. When Hoeppner arrived he feared the worst. Just moments later he got a delightful surprise.

“We opened the drop door up just a crack there and you could see two little eyes staring at you, which I thought was kind of funny. I was trying not to laugh,” Hoeppner said.

The child wasn’t hurt and stayed calm as firefighters used a crowbar to free him.

“He was just sitting there crossed leg right there on the ground and he climbed out and went to dad and that was pretty much the end of it,” Hoeppner said.

Meanwhile, Ford says he’s glad he could help out. And he hopes he never has to see another drop box rescue anytime soon.

“The UPS drivers need to make sure those doors are locked when they leave,” Ford said.

The United Parcel service released the following statement on the rescue:

“UPS is grateful for the quick action by the truck stop staff to contact emergency officials and their quick response to the scene with no injury to the children.

UPS has a very experienced professional driver on the route. We have no reason to believe he didn’t follow his regular protocol to close the drop box door after he made his pickup around 5/5:15 p.m. Thursday. We can’t speculate if the latch did not catch or how the children may have opened the door later in the evening. Responders quickly freed the child, who was unharmed.

The Flying J has removed the drop box from service for the moment, and UPS will replace it with new equipment this week.”

Meanwhile The Flying J released the following statement as well:

“On the evening of Sept. 6, a child crawled inside an unlocked UPS drop box located at the Flying J Travel Plaza in Saginaw, MI, and was safely freed by local firefighters. The drop box located outside of the store appeared to have been mistakenly left unlocked by UPS personnel.

Pilot Flying J thanks and applauds the store’s employees for acting quickly to contact the local authorities to ensure the child was freed without harm. The safety and wellbeing of our customers is always a top priority at Pilot Flying J.”