Local Coroner Heads South to Help

By: Lori Mitchell
By: Lori Mitchell

Gary Crafton has been Simpson County's deputy coroner for 22 years. He also owns a funeral home in Franklin. Even though he deals with death every single day, Crafton doesn't know if he's prepared for what he'll see in New Orleans.

"It's going to be unusual. I talked to guys who went down there last week. They said it's like nothing they've ever seen before."

There's still no way to know how high the death toll will go. The Government ordered 20,000 body bags, a number that's hard to even imagine. So far, more than 800 bodies have been recovered.

The task is enormous, but Crafton joins a long list of coroners around the world eager to help their neighbors in a time of crisis.

"The hardest part is being away from my family. But it is part of it. I have a job to do and I'm going to do it."

Crafton and seven others will leave Wednesday. They're expected to stay over a week.


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