Family gets bill for body removal of loved one

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Carl Little and his wife

MACKINAW CITY, Mich. — The family of a Michigan man who was killed in a car crash is furious after receiving a bill for the removal of his body.

Carl Little was killed in a car crash on I-75 just south of the Mackinac Bridge in June.

Little’s family received a bill, addressed to him, for $500 from the fire department that worked his accident.

“They were essentially billing him for the removal of his corpse. They obviously knew he was dead, I mean, they removed his body from the car,” Little’s step-daughter Rebecca Beck told WXMI-TV.

It appears the bill was made out to the name on the car’s registration.

Deputy Chief Kevin Sehlmeyer with the Grand Rapids Fire Department said a recovery fee isn’t out of the ordinary.

“This cost recovery has become a way that fire departments take care of things in Michigan,” Sehlmeyer said. “It’s pretty common. In this case I understand why the family is not happy about receiving this bill but it is in fact a way for fire departments to get revenue so they can continue to provide services.”

Beck posted a picture of the bill to Facebook, which has had more than 14,000 shares.

“A lot of them [fire departments] bill the insurance companies directly, so then it’s case of going to the insurance company,” Sehlmeyer said. “It sounds like in this case the bill went directly to the family and I understand it’s a time of grieving and it’s an emotional time for a family and then to get this bill on top of it….I think the responders up north are doing a great job at trying to provide a service to the community.”


  • someonewhoknows

    Death is not free??? However if you have 6 kids buy 4 dads we feed them for free???… seriously???
    Was the wreck his fault?
    Did he have insurance??
    Do you have any idea…SHUT UP! …send the bill to the person who caused the wreck and/or his insurance company…
    No death isnt free have you ever paid to bury someone???? Obvioulsy not!!!!… hope the sate dosnt have to pay your death bill ..geeze
    Prayers to that family…sorry some people have no heart now days..welcome to the world we live in…SAD!!

  • Kevin

    I’m sorry but I failed to see a problem here. If the fire department sent the bill to the name and address of the vehicle, there is no problem. They may not have known that the person removed was the same person who was billed. That information is passed on to their administration person. So, I don’t see this as a news story. That’s my opinion.

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