Fired for leaving hearse to get doughnuts

This article is more than 12 months old

It was a break from work that cost them their jobs.

A funeral director and hearse driver from Florida were sacked for stopping off for coffee a Dunkin' Donuts.

They were on their way to an US army veteran's funeral.

The veteran, 84-year-old Lt. Col. Jesse Coleman and the casket he was laid in – draped in the US flag – were still in the back of the hearse left by the two errant employees in the parking lot.

While the pair were getting doughnuts and coffee at the New Port Richey location, the hearse was spotted by local man Rob Carpenter who took photos and video. He confronted the two. Because Carpenter claims the driver showed no remorse, he uploaded his shots. The video then went viral raising the ire of veteran's groups.

The hearse was making a 144km journey from Veterans Funeral Care parlour to the service.

The president of Veteran's Funeral Care Jim Rudolph said that on journeys drivers are allowed to stop for bathroom breaks but that the vehicle is never to be left unattended.

However, during a military transport, such as the one for Lt. Col. Coleman, no stops are allowed to be made.

"When a car leaves the funeral home with a flag on it, it’s on a stage ... and we’re in ceremony mode,” Rudolph told ABC news.

“Going into buy a doughnut with a flag-covered casket in your coach was a terrible lack of judgement."

Rudolph has not said why the driver and funeral director were fired immediately rather than suspended.

Source: ABC, WFTS


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