Two Florida hearse drivers have been fired after they stopped at a doughnut shop with a flag-draped coffin in the vehicle on the way to a funeral and an outraged man sent a video to a local veterans group.
Rob Carpenter spotted the hearse in the parking lot of a New Port Richey Dunkin’ Donuts on Tuesday with its curtains open and the coffin visible.
In the coffin was the body of 84-year-old Lt. Col. Jesse Coleman, a decorated soldier who served in Korea and Vietnam. The hearse was transporting him from Clearwater’s Veteran’s Funeral Care to his funeral.
Carpenter confronted the driver and sent images to Veteran’s Warriors. The group posted the images to Facebook.
“What could they have been thinking?” Veterans Funeral Care President Jim Rudolph told WFTS-TV in Tampa. “I haven’t got the foggiest idea.”
Rudolph said he apologized to Coleman’s family, and fired the two men despite a request by Coleman’s widow to spare their jobs.
“I think if they had the ability to turn back the day, they’d do things different,” Rudolph said.