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70-Year-Old Hearse Drivers Lose Their Jobs for Going to Dunkin’ Donuts… But Was This Fair?

A New Port Richey, Florida Dunkin’ Donuts patron caught the unusual stop on camera. He confronted the driver and then sent his video and photos to a local veteran’s group. From that point, the story went viral.

“This is a soldier who fought for us and defended the country for us, and you’re gonna stop for coffee,” said Carpenter, the son of a veteran. “You could have stopped before you’d even taken this human being to his resting spot.”

The two drivers, both in their 70s, were taking the solider from Clearwater to a church in Crystal River for his funeral. Protocol prohibits hearse drivers from making any stops or from leaving the vehicle’s back curtains open.

parking lot hearse

In the case of an emergency, curtains should be drawn and the car should pull over, out of view of the public, the drivers’ boss, Jim Rudolph for Veteran’s Funeral Care in Clearwater, said.

Rudolph fired the pair. “These are great guys, but I need confidence that it’s being done right,” he said. “What we do here is special, and I am responsible, solely, for a properly conducted military funeral … I have to have total confidence when people are going out the door.”

One of the drivers took to Facebook and explained they were sleep-deprived and hungry. He said they meant no disrespect.

“Our lives are now ruined because of a donut. God forgive me. We now have no means of income because of a donut and being human,” the driver said.

WFLA News Channel 8

Should these two elderly drivers be allowed to keep their job? Was the punishment excessive? Add your comments below.