The Rowan County Emergency Services Department is implementing new procedures after two men said their mother's body was left lying in a parking lot, in the rain, for hours after she died.
David Smith said he was rushing his mother to the hospital late last month. When he noticed she had stopped breathing, he pulled into the Tamarac Marina on High Rock Lake and asked a worker to call 911. Becky Williams was laid on the ground in the parking lot while emergency crews tried to revive her. Not long after, she was pronounced dead, but Williams' family said the drama was just beginning.
"That's just degrading," said son Jacob Smith. "You wouldn't wish that on your worst enemy."
Smith said he doesn't understand why emergency crews couldn't have moved her body to an ambulance in the parking lot until a funeral home arrived to transport her body.
Rowan County's Emergency Services Department said the situation was unfortunate but said ambulance crews take bodies only to transport them to the morgue. In this case, the family asked that an out-of-town funeral home pick up the body instead.
Frank Thomason, who heads Rowan County Emergency Services, said he's implementing new procedures to help make sure bodies are transported as quickly as possible. A shift commander will now work with police on the scene to expedite transports, when possible.
David Smith, however, said what happened to his mother is hard to stop thinking about.
"It's not something I wanted my mother to go through on her last day," he said.