L.A. County Coroner's Van Caught on Camera Nearly Getting Into Wreck

By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter

June 19, 2019

Shocking cell phone video of a Los Angeles County coroner's office supervisor driving a coroner's office van, showed the vehicle weaving in and out of traffic and nearly hitting oncoming vehicles, multiple outlets reported on Wednesday.

The cell phone video taken by another driver on the road, showed the van switching into oncoming lanes of traffic in an attempt to pass a tractor trailer. The move by the county coroner driver forced a truck to swerve onto the shoulder. The driver, identified as Julie Kellerman, was later arrested for driving under the influence, officials said. Video of Kellerman's arrest showed the driver struggling with the officer arresting her, who eventually needs to bring her to the ground before arresting her. A police report said Kellerman blew a 0.26 and a 0.25 - three times the legal limit. She was later charged with a DUI and obstructing a police officer.

The incident occurred on June 1, 2016 on the 14 Freeway in Kern County, but the video was only recently released as part of an ongoing lawsuit against the county after a body was accidentally cremated. The attorney suing the county alleges that Kellerman's arrest left the county short-handed, leading to the mistaken cremation.

"The snowball started when Julie Kellerman was arrested," said attorney Luis Carrillo, who is representing the family of Jorge Hernandez. "Because she wasn't around, they were short on staff. This is what happens when you're short on staff. Then the staff that remains doesn't have a good eye and is negligent and permits these mistakes to go forward."

Hernandez's body was suppose to go to the mortuary for a viewing, but instead, the family said his body was cremated before they could hold a viewing. The family is suing the county for negligence.

Photo: Getty Images

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