Family discover dead grandad ‘made immortal’ on Google Maps by well-timed snap

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A grandad has been immortalised by Google Maps after he was snapped standing outside his bungalow, staring "angrily" at the photo car as it drove down his street.

Mum Michala Burrluck, who describes herself as a "Grandad's girl", was devastated when 84-year-old Victor Austin passed away from Alzheimer's in 2014.

Mourning his death, the 43-year-old decided to take a virtual trip to her granddad's home, just one street over from the home she grew up in.

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Michala was overjoyed when she spotted her late grandad in the picture, which she now revisits regularly.

Michala, from Eccles, Kent, said: "I drive down the road on Google Street View a few times a year and it's really comforting, it's a bit emotional talking about it.

"I like it when you can see him in the background, then you get closer and closer and see him standing there. You think 'ah grandad's still there, he's outside his bungalow'.

"The first time I looked at it after he died I remember shedding a tear and thinking 'ah, he's still there'.

"I was a real grandad's girl, we were always really close. He'd play practical jokes on us and he was quite the character, everybody knew him."

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She added: "It's nice to know there's part of the internet with him still on there."

Michala said he looked unimpressed by the car's presence.

"He's there with his arms on his hips, angry at the car driving down his road," Michala added. "The look on his face shows he's wondering what it is and what it is doing down his street."

Despite her initial emotional reaction, the HR worker now gets comfort knowing there's a "part of the internet" where she can still visit him.

Having kept the tradition quiet, she finally shared it on Facebook earlier this month (September 12), gaining more than 4000 reactions from users of the social media site.

Michala's post reads: "My grandad is still outside his house. He died about eight years ago and was in a home two years prior to this, but it is lovely to just virtually drive down his road and see him."

One commented: "Ah this is so lovely. I'd give anything to see my grandad standing outside his front door."

Another wrote: "I hope they never change that photo ever!!! Hope you have captured it."

A third commented: "This is so lovely."

Michala hopes her children, Elsie and Alice Burrluck, both eight, will also be able to see their grandad, who died before they were one, on the internet for years to come.

Victor lived with wife Doris Austin at the bungalow just a street away from Michala's childhood home until she died in 2001, aged 70.

He moved into a care home in 2012 when his Alzheimer's began to get worse.


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  • Facebook
  • Google Maps
  • Family

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