Broiler mortality during transport to abattoirs (dead-on-arrival/DOA) evokes concern due to compromised animal welfare and associated economic losses. The general aim of this study was to characterize pathological lesions associated with mortality in broilers close to slaughter. The specific aim was to investigate whether disease at the end of the growth period may be a predisposing factor for DOA by describing and comparing the pathological findings in broilers dead-on-farm (DOF) in the final days of the production cycle and in broilers DOA from the same flocks. Gross post-mortem examinations were performed on 607 broilers from 32 flocks, either DOF (371) or DOA (236). In DOF broilers, the most common pathological lesions were lung congestion (37.7%), endocarditis (29.4%), and ascites (24.0%), whereas the most common findings in broilers DOA were lung congestion (57.2%) and trauma (24.6%). Lung congestion was more prevalent among DOA broilers compared to DOF broilers (P-value of > 0.001). A possible cause behind the pathological finding lung congestion is sudden death syndrome (SDS). The study indicates that steps in the transportation process per se cause the majority of pathological lesions such as lung congestion and trauma that may have led to the mortalities registered. Pre-existing diseases such as ascites and osteomyelitis may also predispose for DOA. Thus, factors relating to on-farm health, catching, and transportation are all areas of future investigation in order to reduce transport mortalities and to enhance welfare in broilers.