A Jackman postal worker is being praised as quick thinking after she rescued two horses off U.S. Route 201 before they were struck or caused an accident on the highway.

Mary Hughey was driving her U.S. Postal Service route around noon Wednesday when she saw two horses out loose and on the road.

The horses are believed to have nudged open their gate and got loose onto the highway, which is a major route through Maine to Canada and heavily traveled by trucks.

“I knew the situation wasn’t going to be good if I didn’t do something,” said Hughey by phone Thursday.

Postmaster Jim Stevens said Hughey, a contract driver, was concerned about the safety risk posed by the horses.

“She took the time to get the horses off Route 201, then blocked the driveway with her truck to contain them,” he said.

Hughey said she couldn’t get the horses into the corral at first, but then “I got the idea that hay always works” and she used it to lead them back in.

The house and farm are about halfway from Jackman to the Canada border, though the postal workers did not say who the homeowners were, citing policy.

Hughey said she has been familiar with horses her whole life.

“They were quite frisky and kept coming up to me, but then kept backing off,” she said, noting that they did not have their ears back, a sign of distress, and seemed to be friendly.

She said the homeowner arrived home as she was just getting back to her vehicle and he thanked her.

Hughey has been a contractor with the Postal Service for 35 years, driving the route that formerly belonged to her mother.

“Often our carriers and highway contract drivers are the first to spot emergency situations,” said Stevens. “Mary had enough awareness of the area to know what could have turned into a catastrophe and did something about it. Mary is an important member of our team in Jackman, always looking out for our customers.”

Hughey is the second Jackman postal carrier to make news for a good deed recently. Boyd Fortier, who helps his wife, Joanne, on her Jackman-Moose River route, was featured in a December Morning Sentinel story after he won a town award that recognizes good deeds. Among other things, Fortier got special permission from the postal service to deliver mail in-home to an elderly couple who have difficulty making it to their mailbox.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252

[email protected]

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