Man Driving Wrong Way Down Highway With Dead Body in Passenger Seat Arrested

An investigation has been launched after a man drove the wrong way down a highway in Spain with a dead body in the passenger seat. The unnamed motorist, 66, was arrested after he was involved in a crash close to the town of Girona in the northeast of the country.

When officers arrived at the scene of the crash and looked inside his vehicle they found the body of an elderly man in an advanced state of decomposition, which was covered with a blanket and strapped into the front passenger seat using the belt.

A Catalonia regional police spokesperson told the AFP news agency that the driver was originally heading towards the French border.

After seeing French law enforcement conducting roadside border checks at the crossing into France near Le Boulou, he allegedly turned his vehicle around and drove the wrong way down the AP-7 highway.

Police alleged that the driver, a Spanish-Swiss dual national who lived in Spain, ignored signals to stop his vehicle and after nearly 20 miles of driving he turned off the road and crashed.

The police chase involved several vehicles from the regional Catalan Mossos d'Esquadra force, who were alerted by their French counterparts.

Thursday's crash involved a Citroën C-3 Aircross and occurred in the village of Jafre, around 15 miles from the coast. The vehicle crashed off the road and the driver was arrested on charges of reckless driving.

The local Diari de Girona newspaper reported that the man suffered injuries in the crash.

The body of the deceased man, reported by Spanish newspaper El Pais to be 88 years old and also of Swiss nationality, was transferred to the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Girona for an autopsy, although investigators were reportedly not treating it as a homicide.

Sources told El Pais that officials believed the deceased man may have been dead for three weeks but were waiting for more details from the results of the autopsy.

According to the newspaper, the driver was reluctant to leave the vehicle and police confiscated the car keys before taking him in for questioning.

The suspect was reported to have initially told officers he turned around at the border after realising that he had not arranged for a COVID-19 PCR test, which is required for travel into France.

Police told the paper that they believed the vehicle had been driven through Spain, possibly including the capital, Madrid, and Vilafranca del Penedès, a Catalan town close to Barcelona.

AP-7 highway Girona
A vehicle of the AP-7 highway in Girona, drives on September 13, 2019. The police chase involved several vehicles from the regional Catalunyan Mossos d'Esquadra force, who were alerted by their French counterparts. JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images