Stillborn baby falls off hearse’s roof after being left there by mistake

The body of a stillborn infant was found on the side of a road in Melbourne, Australia, after falling from the vehicle transporting it to the mortuary.

Funeral contractor Richard Bertrand was taking the body to the John Tonge Centre in the city for an autopsy on Thursday, 29 November, Metro reports.

He placed the baby on the roof of the vehicle while moving another body to a different van and forgot to place it back into the hearse before he drove off.

Mortuary staff discovered the body was missing, The Australian reports.

It was later found by road workers, who are reportedly traumatised by the incident.

The child's family was distressed when notified of the events by Queensland Health officials, The West Australian reports.

"This transport wasn't undertaken by Queensland Health but by a licensed private funeral contractor," officials said in a statement.

"Queensland Health has already begun a process to fully investigate the contractor's actions, so that nothing like this ever happens again."

Bertrand has reportedly been suspended while the investigation is under way.

Sources: Metro, The Australian, The West Australia