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Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - Page updated at 07:37 A.M.

Washington man's ashes crashes into Oregon woman's home


The Associated Press

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FOREST GROVE, Ore. — A most unwelcome guest recently crashed into Barbara Vreeland's home: the cremated remains of a Washington man.

The 46-year-old man died of natural causes in June. He wanted to be cremated and have his ashes scattered over Mountain View Memorial Gardens, a cemetery near Vreeland's home, Forest Grove police Capt. Aaron Ashbaugh said Tuesday.

Family members told police the bag of ashes slipped as they were circling the cemetery in a small plane they had hired for the day.

The 4-pound bag crashed through Vreeland's roof and landed in the attic.

"It was a first for us," Ashbaugh said. "Initially, we didn't know if it was an intentional act or a reckless act."

Vreeland was at her kitchen sink when the ashes hit the roof.

"It really rattled our place," she said. "It wasn't a little bump — it shook the house."

Vreeland's roof is being fixed and the man's family is paying for the damage.

"I understand the man wanted to be with his (deceased) relatives," Vreeland said.

"I feel for those people. But I think some of their relative is still in our attic."

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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