Page last updated at 14:40 GMT, Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Woman killed by husband's coffin

A Brazilian woman has died after being struck by her husband's coffin when the hearse they were travelling in was involved in a car crash.

The 67-year-old woman was on the way to the cemetery to bury her husband, who had died the day before.

The hearse was struck from behind by an Alfa Romeo car, police said.

The coffin slammed into the head of the woman, who was sitting in the passenger seat of the hearse, killing her instantly, according to officers.

Marciana Silva Barcelos and her family were on the way to a cemetery in the town of Alvorada in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, for the funeral of her partner, Josi Silveira Coimbra.

The 76-year-old man had died of a heart attack on Sunday after attending a dance.

Following the accident, the driver of the Alfa Romeo was trapped for around 50 minutes in the wreckage and was taken to hospital where he was put under observation.

The driver of the hearse and a son of the dead man, who was also travelling in the hearse, were treated for minor injuries.

An investigation is now underway to determine the cause of the accident.

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