Let's file this one under the "I'm Not Making This Up" category.
A woman received a $30 ticket for parking her pickup truck outside the emergency room at UAB Hospital in Birmingham yesterday.
The woman, it turned out, had a good excuse for not moving her truck for about eight hours: She was dead.
At about 11:30 a.m. yesterday, about an hour after a Birmingham Parking Authority employee had placed a ticket on the truck's windshield, a passerby noticed Rebecca Kate Haley's body slumped over the steering wheel and notified authorities.
Haley, 25, had been dead at least eight hours, authorities said.
One news report said the parking worker did not notice anyone in the truck. Another report said the worker noticed Haley but thought she was asleep. Either way, you've got to be impressed with the human touch meter readers bring to the job.
What about UAB and its highly regarded medical center? I don't think the university is going to be using this story in its public-relations material. Imagine the headline: "Woman is dead for eight hours outside our emergency room; no one notices!"
This story hits us personally here at Legal Schnauzer. In the days before I was unlawfully terminated at UAB, I used to walk by the ER all the time. That's because it was on the way to one of my favorite lunch spots--Qdoba's Mexican Grill. (Have you tried the chicken fajita burrito at Qdoba's? Muy bueno!)
If I hadn't been cheated out of my job, I might have been walking by the ER at about 11:30 yesterday. Of course, with my mind on Qdoba's, I might not have been much help. Not sure I would have noticed a dead body, even if it had been on the sidewalk.
(By the way, several former coworkers have told me that a number of restaurants in the UAB area have gone out of business since I was terminated last May. I never realized it, but maybe I was a one-man stimulus package for the eateries in the UAB area. Hope my friends at Qdoba's are doing OK.)
Police still are trying to figure out how Haley died.