Hearse drivers stop for coffee, doughnuts with veteran’s coffin in back

Two hearse drivers in Florida have been fired after a bystander recorded the vehicle parked in front of a Dunkin’ Donuts with a flag-draped coffin in the back on the way to a funeral.

Rob Carpenter, who shot the video, told WFLA that he confronted the drivers. “I’m like, ‘Is this really a body in here?’ and he says, ‘Yes,’ and I said, ‘So you have a dead soldier in the back of your hearse and you’re stopping to get coffee?’ And he didn’t say anything.”

Inside the car was Ltc. Jesse Coleman, a Korean and Vietnam War veteran who died at age 84. His body was on the way to his funeral from Clearwater’s Veteran’s Funeral Care, where WFLA reports the owner wasn’t pleased.

“When you’re in a loaded car, you should leave, you should be coffeed up,” he said. “Do everything you need to do and drive really ceremoniously.”

He said the drivers are both sons of veterans. Coleman’s family was forgiving of the drivers, saying their work was “beautiful.”

Contact Kristen DeSilva at 702-477-3895 or Find her on Twitter: @kristendesilva

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