Eric Henry, Jr., 19, of Winnabow, North Carolina may have had the best intentions when his friend, John Ferguson, 23, died from a suspected overdose and put him in the car. However, he appears to have concluded that there was a lack of urgency in getting him to a hospital and instead drove around town with the body in the passenger seat as he handled various errands.
The decision may have allowed him to use the HOV lane (which might not specify “live” passengers, though “person” is often defined as a live individual), but it was a serious mistake in terms of the criminal code. Henry has been charged with obstruction of justice. That is a surprising charge since most states have separate criminal code provisions for transporting dead bodies without a license and mishandling of a corpse. Tort law is equally strict in cases involving the mishandling of corpses.
Police found both Henry and Ferguson during a stop at Henry’s grandfather’s house. He appears to have missed the thing about calling the police on his “to do” list for that day.
This may simply be the corrosive impact of Weekend at Bernies” on our society.
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