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Organ donors save lives, period. However, they don’t usually save lives due to the weight of their organs. In fact, a car crash in Colorado had a happy ending thanks to the fact that one gracious organ donor’s organs hadn’t been removed yet. A hearse driver lost control and slid the hearse to the edge of a snowy cliff; teetering on the cliffside, the hearse balanced long enough for the driver to get out safely. The driver credits the body in the back for saving his life. 

A hearse dangling off of a cliff
Hearse on a cliff | CBS Colorado

Hearse driver saved by the dead body he carried

Although the incident happened on Jan. 29, the story is only now coming out. According to Autoblog, the hearse was operating in Grand Junction, CO, for Hubbard and Son Mortuary. The hearse was carrying the remains of an unnamed organ donor when, at 3 am in a snowstorm, the driver was climbing up the mountain near the Eisenhower Tunnel, crossing the Continental Divide – the highest point in the U.S. Interstate system – when a red Dodge Druango forced him to quickly switch lanes. 

The hearse driver lost control of the awkward vehicle sending the driver and his passenger sliding toward the cliffside. The vehicle came to rest at the edge of the cliff, with nearly half of the hearse teetering over the edge of the void. As if in a movie, the hearse’s front wheels were suspended over nothingness while the rear of the hearse was still on the edge. The driver mentioned that the car was literally teetering with a slight tilt. However, the driver was able to slowly open the door and exit the vehicle safely. The hearse driver directly credits his survival to the full weight of the deceased passenger he was transporting. The extra weight is what kept the hearse from going over. 

Some things are stranger than fiction

An officer on the scene can be heard saying in the video, ​​”That’s a lucky mother—-er right there,” and we agree. Amusingly pointed out by Autoblog, hearing a quote like that is not all that common for someone to say while approaching a hearse. However, the fact is, had the dearly departed had their organs removed or even just been slightly smaller, or any other endless amount of what-ifs, this scene could have gone much more poorly. 

It’s worth mentioning that organ donors have the potential to save up to eight lives by donating their organs. This is a significant gift on its own. However, it may be that our hero here already has one life under their belt. 

Who makes hearses?

Cadillac Fleetwood hearse
Cadillac Fleetwood hearse | Wikimedia Commons

Hearses are not typically built in a factory. Instead, they are often created by conversion companies, not unlike those who do camper vans or other such vehicles. 

There are a number of companies that do these conversions in the States. Some of the most noteworthy are Eagle Coach Company, MK Coach, Platinum Funeral Coach Company, K2 Vehicles, Federal Coach Company, and The S&S Coach Company. While I doubt any of these builders have spent much time sweating weight distribution, maybe they should start. Who knows, it could make all the difference.