A woman in North Texas says she was upset to see a flag-draped casket sitting in a hearse parked at Walmart this week.
“I got out of my vehicle and noticed there was a hearse illegally parked, and I thought, ‘Oh, that’s kind of rude,’” Tiffany Gallaway told KTVT News recently.
Armed with her cellphone’s video camera, Gallaway, who KTVT News reports is a military veteran, confronted the driver of the hearse as he exited Walmart and began dumping ice and bottled water into a cooler that was in the hearse.
“Excuse me sir, is that a casket?” Gallaway is heard asking the driver in the video, portions of which were played on KTVT’s website.
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“Uh, yes ma’am,” the driver responded in the video.
Gallaway told KTVT she was shocked to find the casket left unattended in the parking lot.
“I can’t believe that somebody is actually leaving a fallen soldier behind, that’s a no-no,” she said.
When she presented that idea to the driver he seemed to agree.
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“Why are you grocery shopping at Walmart?” she asks him in the video.
“Well, because they dropped this thing on me and said I needed to get it, and I said, ‘Hey we’re loaded,’ but I didn’t like the idea either,” the driver tells her.
“This has got to be the most disrespectful thing I have ever seen in my life,” Gallaway says. “I just want you to know that. This is absolutely horrible. That man died serving our country and you’re putting ice in a cooler.”
“You and I are in agreement,” the driver says. “I didn’t want to do this in the first place.”
The driver reportedly confirmed that the person in the casket was someone who had served in the military or was a police officer or a firefighter.
The North Dallas Funeral Home said the employee made an unauthorized stop.
“The employee failed to follow our company policy regarding transporting between funeral facilities,” the funeral home’s attorney told KTVT.
This isn't the first recent incident of its kind.
In May, the flag-covered coffin of an 84-year-old veteran was photographed sitting in a hearse parked outside of a Florida Dunkin’ Donuts, ABC News reported.
And in June another such coffin was photographed in a hearse parked outside a Hardee’s restaurant in Virginia Beach, Virginia, according to WTKR News.
Photo credit: KTVT News, WikiCommons