An Australian funeral party had a shock last week when a man drove off with the hearse, with the coffin still inside, just hours before the ceremony was due to begin.
Hayley West, 43, who attended the funeral of her brother-in-law, Seth Richardson, in New South Wales on Thursday, told ABD Darwin: “The hearse was parked outside and some bloke jumped out of the bushes and jumped into the hearse and started it up.”
An attendant then rushed to the door of the vehicle and unsuccessfully attempted to stop the driver, who then allegedly sped off with the body still in the back.
Tobias Richardson, the brother of the deceased, who is also the husband of Ms West, then went in pursuit of the hearse and body, while others rang the police.
Mr Richardson was able to block the path of the path of the hearse at the end of a street and challenged the man.
According to Ms West, the driver exited the vehicle and said to her husband “I need to go to hospital”.
Police arrived five minutes later and took the man into custody, he was later sent to hospital for assessment.
New South Wales Police confirmed that the man, 49, suffered from dementia and had gone missing from a nursing home in Leura, in the suburbs of Blue Mountains.
Staff at the home had searched a number of nearby premises before alerting the police.
“It is anticipated that no further police action will be taken regarding the incident,” police were reported as saying.
After the commotion the funeral was able to get back on track, as planned.
Ms West said that her brother-in-law would have thought the incident was “hilarious”.Reuse content