In Olympia, Washington, residents were in for quite a haunting and grisly scene as two gurneys, including one that was occupied by a deceased corpse, fell out of the back of a coroner’s van and into traffic.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">NEW VIDEO: Dead body halts traffic after gurneys fall out of van (GRAPHIC) - <a href="https://t.co/QvsfuoPPRr">https://t.co/QvsfuoPPRr</a> <a href="https://t.co/QLOgrn8Czt">pic.twitter.com/QLOgrn8Czt</a></p>— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) <a href="https://twitter.com/Breaking911/status/895377803180429313">August 9, 2017</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Law enforcement says that the van was on its way back to the Thurston County Coroner’s Office just before 12:30 PM after responding to a 911 call about for a death where they picked up a body to deliver.
Olympia Police Lt. Paul Lower said that the two gurneys fell out of the back of the van at the intersection of Martin Way East and Phoenix Street Southeast in the middle of traffic.
The gurney which was occupied by the deceased person was found in the middle of the intersection, while the second gurney rolled down Phoenix Street Southeast and was found in a parking lot near Pacific Avenue Southeast.
Lower said that two of his department's officers were close enough to the scene when dispatch reported the incident that they were able to quickly reroute all traffic away from the area. The coroner’s office was then notified of the accident and returned to load the gurney and the dead body back into the van.
Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock said that a preliminary investigation into the incident is currently underway to determine whether the cause of the terrifying disaster was due to operating error of the driver or mechanical failure of the vehicle itself.
Fortunately there was no additional trauma to the body after the incident, and the family was notified about what happened to their deceased loved one.
Thurston County Coroner Warnock has worked for the coroner’s office since early 2001 first as an investigator before becoming coroner, and said in his entire career he's never heard of such a thing happening before.
The van will now be tested and checked for any mechanical failure, he said. No charges are expected to be filed against the driver although the video is now going viral on the internet.