Police officers told the wrong couple their son had been in a fatal car crash.
Jay and Karen Priest, who live outside of Palmer, were awakened by an Alaska State Trooper who knocked on their door at around 3 a.m. Thursday morning, the Associated Press reports.
"He knew right away, the dread. It's not good when a trooper knocks on your door at three o'clock in the morning," Karen said.
The officer came to inform both of them that their 29-year-old son Justin had been killed in a car crash in Juneau.
The Alaska Dispatch News reports that the couple drove to Anchorage to tell their other son, Cody, and then drove to Justin’s home in Palmer to inform his long-time girlfriend of the devastating news.
Karen Priest says she and her family were in shock when Justin opened the door.
Justin told the AP he was getting ready to walk his dog when his parents and brother knocked on the door at about 5:30 a.m.
"I didn't know why they were yelling and screaming," Justin said. "I was mostly asleep. They were yelling, 'Praise Jesus! It's a miracle!'"
It turns out that another man with the same name but a different birth date was killed in the accident.
"It opens and right here is Justin. I don't even see it but Jay is sobbing. It doesn't compute to me. Then I see him," Karen said. "You want it to be true, but you go, 'Am I hallucinating?' Justin didn't know what was going on."
Juneau police later apologized for the error.
Justin told Alaska Dispatch that the family’s relief is tempered by knowing that another family lost a son.
Image Credits: AP, KIRO Seattle