A Canadian man has driven 225 miles with his dead wife in the passenger seat, after she apparently passed away as they were heading back home from an Oregon vacation.
The 71-year-old resident of Oliver, British Columbia knew his 75-year-old wife’s suffered from a medical condition, so when she suddenly died near Pasco, Wash., he did not immediately contact emergency services or officials.
Eventually, when the man used his vehicle’s OnStar emergency services system to contact help many miles later, he was persuaded to stop in Okanogan County at the Tonasket police station.
Authorities said a major factor in the man’s decision to stop had to do with border law; the man was uncertain if he could cross the country border with a corpse in his front seat, according to The Wenatchee World.
Police Chief Robert Burks said, “He wasn’t sure what to do, so he kept driving.”
When the man arrived at the police station, emergency services took her to North Valley Hospital, where she was pronounced dead upon arrival. Authorities have not released the name of the deceased woman or her husband.
It is unknown if the woman could have survived had she received help earlier during the course of her sickness. Still, police are ruling out any foul play, and say her sudden death was not suspicious. They did not request an autopsy.
As for the man’s actions, Burks said the man understood that he needed to stop, just was unsure of how exactly to proceed. The police chief said the man probably wanted to try to deal with things on his own.
"I think it was just not registering that he needed to stop. He was taking her home, probably, to deal with it up there," Burks explained.
Tonasket Police Station is about as close to Canada as the man could get, being about 20 miles away from the border.