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Body falls out of hearse at Auckland traffic lights

Monday 18 May 2015 | Published in Regional


PAPATOETOE – A bizarre story involving a dead body flying out from the back of a hearse in Auckland is making global headlines.

The New Zealand Herald and the British Daily Mail have reported that horrified onlookers saw a corpse, strapped to a gurney and covered in a sheet, lying on the road in the rain at an intersection in Papatoetoe.

It was then loaded back into the hearse by the driver and bystanders.

Funeral director co-owner Carina Zhang said the body had fallen out as it was being transported by her firm. She said the driver of the hearse had reported the incident to her but she was unsure how it had happened. However, early indications were a faulty latch on the rear door was to blame.

One man said he was stopped in his car at the intersection when he saw the hearse take off at the lights.

“I was just parked there and all of a sudden I saw the funeral car’s boot open and something slipping out and it was a body.”

The man took a photo of the incident on his phone of the hearse driver and a motorist trying to put the body back into the hearse in the pouring rain.

Another motorist said she pulled up at the intersection to see the body “lying on a gurney in the middle of the road behind the hearse”.

“I was just thinking, if that was a member of my family, that would be so disturbing.”

The incident probably happened in the space of about two minutes. Zhang said the incident was “unfortunate” but the company had done everything it could to prevent it recurring. “The driver involved really was shocked. The body was okay; nothing happened to it. It was really a very unfortunate accident. We do feel so bad.”