Plane carrying man’s body misroutes to SLC, delays funeral


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (ABC 4 Utah) – A heartbroken family finally laid their son to rest, after the Delta cargo plane carrying his body reportedly misrouted to Salt Lake City and became stranded for two days.

David Rhodes and his family are dealing with pain only real in most parents’ nightmares. 

“If you’ve never lost a child, it’s a different hurt,” Rhodes said. 

After watching their son lose a four-year battle with leukemia, Rhodes says they thought the torment was over. 

“We were there with him, and I performed CPR on him until the EMS got there, but he ended up passing away,” he recalled. 

Bryant Lee Raburn died at his parents’ home in North Carolina on Tuesday.   Raburn’s family found it appropriate to bury him in his hometown of Nashville and planned accordingly through the airline. 

“The funeral home there made arrangements with Delta to fly him to Nashville,” Rhodes explained. 

But an apparent mistake sent Raburn to Salt Lake City International Airport, instead.  Severe weather in the South caused dozens of delays and flight cancellations for Delta over the weekend and reportedly prevented the airline from being able to get Raburn’s body where it needed to go.   For two days, Raburn’s family wondered when his body would arrive; meanwhile, postponing memorial services and trying to hold themselves together. 

“Bryant’s in Salt Lake City in a cargo hold, and we don’t know how to get him to Nashville,” Rhodes recalled.  

Rhodes says despite hours spent on the phone with Delta, the airline could not help him.  Desperate, he says he went to Nashville International Airport to plead with cargo crews, himself.   Finally, airport officials found a way.  The plane carrying Raburn’s body landed just one hour before friends and family had rescheduled his funeral services. 

While Raburn’s family says they did make it to the funeral, they say they did not have any private time with their son before laying him to rest. 

Friends and loved ones say they are now waiting for a response this from Delta. 


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