Funeral body pickup truck
Man loads body into pick-up truck (Photo Ken McDaniel)

A Memphis-area funeral director is offering his apology for transporting a woman’s body in the back of his personal pick-up truck.

Manager of Hardeman County Funeral Services of Bolivar, Tennessee, James L. Gray, Jr., called the decision an “error in judgement” in his letter to Tennessee Board of Funeral Home Directors & Embalmers, reports MS News Now.

Ken McDaniel, a delivery truck driver who witnessed the event, took photos of a man removing a body from a hospital and loading it into the back of a pick-up. – Jackson, MS

The man in the photos is not Gray but was working under his orders. The body was that of 90-year-old Mattie Moss, who passed away November 19 — the same day the photos were taken.

“I accept responsibility,” Gray wrote, “and apologize for any disrespect that the family or board may feel toward this situation. In the future, these steps will not be taken to make removals.”

One of Moss’ granddaughters responded to the incident, saying: “I appreciate his apology. I hope that at the end of all this that this doesn’t happen to another family.”

While there are no laws specifying a certain type of vehicle(s) needed to transport the deceased, former Memphis City Councilman Brent Taylor, who is a licensed funeral home director and owner, told MS News Now that a pick-up truck is not an acceptable vehicle.