Police in Alaska told the wrong parents their son was dead

Justin Priest, 29, opened the door to find his parents shocked to discover he was alive

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Police in Alaska have apologised to two parents for putting them through an emotional rollercoaster after mistakenly telling them that their son had been killed in a car crash.

The car crash victim had the same name as Jay and Karen Priest's son Justin, but a different birth date and middle name, the Alaska Dispatch News reported.

Mr and Mrs Priest discovered their son was alive when they went over to his girlfriend’s house to tell her he had died. Justin, 29, opened the door, bleary-eyed at 5.30am to find his family “crying and shouting” and completely stunned that he was in fact, alive.

At 3am in Palmer, Alaska, on Thursday, the police had woken up the Priests and informed them their son had been killed in a car crash in the Juneau district. They drove to their other son’s house and told him before driving to Justin’s girlfriend's house.

Justin told the local newspaper that he had no idea why his parents and brother were so shocked to see him when he opened the door.

“I was shocked and astonished and had to keep grabbing him and hugging him. I’ve never cried so much in my life,” Jay said. Karen Priest said she was in shock.

Justin said the relief they felt was tempered by the knowledge that another family had lost a son.