The motorist, who did not wish to be named, said he assumed a piece of timber or a heavy item had fallen from the vehicle when he heard a bang - and did not expect to see what looked like a body.
"I was a bit shocked, really", he told the Herald.
The funeral company whose hearse flew open sending a stretcher flying across a busy Auckland intersection yesterday is reassuring the public there was no body inside.
A shocking piece of dashcam footage has captured the moment a body bag fell from the back of a moving hearse.
A nearby petrol station worker, who was serving a customer and got distracted by the noise of the gurney falling on the road, also believed there was a body on the gurney.
It rolls through the intersection at speed before coming to a halt at the side of the road.
A driver was able to film the moment a bodybag falls out of the boot of a hearse while turning at a busy junction in New Zealand. Then the driver pulls up and rushes to the gurney, picking it up and placing it back in the hearse.
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But Craig Little, managing director of Davis Funerals, has insisted there was no body inside the bag when the video was filmed.
"We have a vinyl pillow to lay people's heads on, and at the foot-end of that stretcher there is a metal bar that can look like people's feet", he said.
Another witness of the incident, a staff member from Caltex, described the scene as "crazy" and he believed there was a body inside.
Robert Russell, branch manager at Davis Funerals in Auckland's Dominion Rd, said the driver had gone to pick up a body from a house, but police at the house turned him away when he could not provide identification.
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The hearse will be assessed to ensure the door works properly and the funeral home is reviewing its procedures "to make sure this can never ever happen again", he said.
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