Unregistered hearse halted in funeral fuss

Source: The Daily Advertiser

AN UNDERTAKER was forced to transfer a body to another hearse after police ordered his vehicle off the road as it made its way to the Wagga crematorium.

A highway patrol officer nabbed the hearse driving unregistered as it headed north on the Olympic Highway towards Wagga last month.

The incident saw the undertaker driving the vehicle forced to call another hearse and move the body to the second vehicle at the side of the highway.

The family of the deceased was left distressed by the way police handled the incident.

Wagga police Superintendent Bob Noble said he sympathised with the family over the situation but has backed the officer’s handling of the situation.

“Another person might’ve dealt with it a different way but another person wasn’t there,” he said.

“An officer has a responsibility to make decisions at the time and I respect the individual authority of that person to do that.”

Superintendent Noble said the officer was in no way trying to add to an already difficult time for the family, admitting the circumstances were “regrettable”.

“No officer would want to exacerbate or compound grief in those circumstances,” he said.

Police have spoken with the funeral company involved in the incident and no formal complaint has been made with regards to the actions of the highway patrol officer involved in the incident.

It’s understood the funeral company had only recently purchased the hearse second-hand and had been told by the seller that it had come with 12 months’ registration.

But when the highway patrol officer pulled it over, its registration was found to be out of date and it was ordered immediately off the road.

The Daily Advertisercontacted the funeral company in question for comment, but they declined to do so.