VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – A photo of a hearse from Richmond-based Bliley’s Funeral Home carrying the flag-draped coffin of a veteran parked outside a fast-food restaurant in Virginia Beach is going viral.
David Disch of Virginia Beach told WTKR he was waiting the Hardee's drive-thru around 11 a.m. Saturday when he spotted a black Bliley’s hearse drive by and then park in a back corner of the parking lot. He said two employees then got out and walked inside the Hardee's.
“After I got my food I went around behind it to confirm what I had seen, a flag-draped coffin inside,” Disch said. “You couldn’t miss it.”
Bliley’s Funeral Home's Ceremony and Planning Team Manger Bill Carter confirmed the hearse was carrying the body of Bobby Hill for a 1 p.m. service at Rosewood Memorial Park in Virginia Beach from the company's headquarters in Richmond.
According to Hill’s obituary, he is a retired Master Sergeant with the United States Air Force.
Disch said when he realized it was a serviceman's casket that "added to the fire." As a result, he said he snapped photos of the hearse and posted them to Facebook.
“I know we’re all human, we have to eat, but protocols need to be changed, something needs to be changed,” Disch said. “I don’t think it would have bothered me as much, but when they both got out and proceeded in -- that’s what set me off.”
Carter said their company policy is to never leave someone unattended in public unless there is an emergency.
“In this case at least one associate was watching the locked and secured hearse while they were briefly inside a restaurant,” Carter said in a statement.
Additionally, Carter said the funeral home notified the family about the incident.
“The family was very pleased with our services and made sure to mention that to our associates. Bliley’s takes the transportation and care of those people we serve very seriously and we have addressed this issue with our Associates to ensure that our procedures are followed consistently.”