Gurney carrying dead body falls from coroner's van into traffic

By: Crystal Bonvillian, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Updated:

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Two gurneys, including one carrying a dead body, fell from the back of a coroner’s van Monday and into traffic, police in Washington state said. 

The van was traveling through Olympia to the Thurston County Coroner’s Office around 12:30 p.m. when the gurneys fell onto the roadway. Police told the Olympian that the body was being transported from the scene of a home death. 

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The gurney with the unidentified deceased person was found in the middle of an intersection. The second, empty gurney rolled down the street and was found in a nearby parking lot. 

The body suffered no trauma in the incident, Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock told the Olympian. The family of the deceased was told about the accident. 

Video shared with the newspaper by a woman named Sydney Fox shows the overturned gurney with the body lying in the intersection of Martin Way East and Phoenix Street Southeast in Olympia. A woman’s incredulous voice can be heard as she sits in a car at a red light.

“Dude, what the hell is happening right now?” she says. “I am at a stoplight, and there is a (expletive) body on a gurney that is just sitting there. There’s no ambulance around anywhere. There’s nothing. There is just a person. I’m, like, ‘What is that? What’s happening right now?’”

Click here to see the video

Olympia police Lt. Paul Lower told the Olympian that officers on duty nearby rerouted traffic away from the intersection. The coroner’s office was notified of the accident, and the van was sent back for the body and the gurneys. 

The coroner was investigating to determine how the incident occurred. 

A gurney is placed inside of an ambulance in front of St. Vincent's Hospital on April 7, 2010, in New York City.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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