A shocked motorist has described the moment he thought he saw a body fall out of the back of a hearse.
The driver was approaching an intersection in Auckland when his dashcam recorded a body bag on a gurney rolling down the street.
The astounded onlooker watched as the hearse driver stopped the car, jumped out and retrieved the gurney with the help of a passing motorcyclist.
The driver and a nearby petrol station worker told The New Zealand Herald they were convinced there was a body inside the bag.
However, Davis Funerals' managing director Craig Little said the body bag on top of the gurney was empty at the time and the illusion of a body was due to the way the body bag was positioned.
"We have a vinyl square pillow to lay people's head and at the foot-end of that stretcher there is a metal bar that can look like people's feet," he told the NZ Herald.
He said the hearse driver was returning to the funeral home with an empty body bag but had failed to close the boot properly.
The stretcher fell out when he accelerated at an intersection.
The motorist said he was "shocked at the sight" and had assumed at first that a heavy item had fallen from the back of the car before realising it was a hearse and body stretcher.
"I heard this noise, and the next thing you know I see the stretcher with the body on it flying through the intersection," the motorist said.
A nearby petrol station worker was behind the counter serving a customer when he looked outside and saw the driver loading the gurney and body bag back into the hearse.
He said he also believed there was a body inside the bag and described the moment as a "crazy" scene.