According to Alaskan State Troopers, 29-year-old Justin Priest had been killed in a terrible car accident.
Upon hearing the heartbreaking news, his grieving parents informed their other son, Cody, and then traveled to the house of Justin’s longtime girlfriend to inform her, too. The Priests were in for the surprise of a lifetime when, after knocking on the door, it was Justin who answered.
Karen and Jay Priest instead were stunned when the son, 29-year-old Justin Priest, answered the door. They had mistakenly been told by Juneau police that he’d been killed in the crash.
Karen Priest said her husband started sobbing, and she was in shock.
“There are no words,” she said on Friday, still wrung out from what she called an emotional roller coaster. “We just kept staring at him.”
Justin Priest said he’d gotten up to let out his 9-week-old puppy and was near the door at 5:30 a.m. when his parents and brother knocked. They started screaming when he opened the door.
“It opens and right here is Justin. I don’t even see it but Jay is sobbing. It doesn’t compute to me. Then I see him,” she said. “You want it to be true, but you go, ‘Am I hallucinating?’ Justin didn’t know what was going on.”
“I didn’t know why they were yelling and screaming,” Justin Priest said. “I was mostly asleep. They were yelling, ‘Praise Jesus! It’s a miracle!'”
The Juneau police have since apologized for the awful mix-up.