The driver who left the body of a baby on the roof of his van and drove off says he is embarrassed and “absolutely shattered”.
The body of the baby was discovered by road workers on the side of a Sunshine Coast road on Thursday, hours after the funeral transport van left Rockhampton bound for a Brisbane mortuary.
The Courier Mail has named Queensland Funeral Transfers as the company behind the incident and said Richard Bertrand and one other driver were responsible.
Starts at 60 has contacted Queensland Funeral Transfers, but the company had not replied at the time of publishing.
Bertrand told the Courier Mail he was distracted when he left Rockhampton as his home in nearby Gracemere was being evacuated on Wednesday due to bushfires in the area. He said he was “under a lot of pressure” at the time and that it resulted in him making a “horrible mistake” later on.
“I feel absolutely shattered, and my thoughts go out to the family involved,” he told the publication on Friday night.
“I’m totally embarrassed by the whole situation. It has knocked me around, of course it has.”
A spokesperson from Queensland Health told Starts at 60 the family of the baby is very distressed.
They confirmed the government has suspended its contract with Queensland Funeral Transfers and is writing to the contractor to ask them why they should not be permanently removed from state government work.
The Sunshine Coast Criminal Investigation Branch attended the scene early Thursday morning after the baby’s body was discovered on the side of the road, but police later said the incident was not being treated as a police matter.
The road workers who found the baby’s body are said to be traumatised.