Puyallup father says Pierce Medical Examiner's Office lied about video evidence in son's case

Puyallup father says Pierce Medical Examiner's Office lied about video evidence

When Michael Gish’s son died in a fall from a bridge crossing the Puyallup River on Meridian Avenue two years ago, he was told video evidence supported a finding that the death was a suicide.

It turns out that evidence doesn’t exist.

“Oh yes, I’m very angry. I mean, he just straight-out lied to me about it,” Gish said.

Content Continues Below

Sixteen-year-old Jordon Gish died when he jumped from a bridge crossing the Puyallup River while goofing around with a friend around 3:30 a.m. July 6, 2017.

Police called it an accident. Pierce County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Clark called it suicide.

After his son's death, Michael Gish repeatedly called the medical examiner's office asking to talk with Clark to tell him his son couldn't have committed suicide. Then he was told about the video.

“I was told they had very clear video of my son running across the bridge and jumping off the ledge,” Gish said.

That's not what Clark said under oath in a recent video deposition when he was asked about the video.

“The video is grainy, it’s distant, it’s low resolution,” Clark said. “It is very difficult to determine if the two dots might even be the two subjects.”

“I feel that I’m pretty much being lied to,” Gish told KIRO 7 after hearing about Clark’s testimony. “That’s one way to get me to stop calling and keep fighting for my son.”

Gish sued, trying to force a change to his son’s death certificate. In the deposition for that suit, Clark stands by his decision that Jordan Gish's death was suicide, even, he said, if the teenager never really intended to take his own life that night.

“I would put jumping off a bridge in the same category as Russian roulette,” Clark testified.

In addition to the Gish suit, Clark is under investigation by the Washington Medical Commission after three complaints were filed there and a whistleblower complaint was filed by now suspended Associate Medical Examiner Dr. Megan Quinn.

See our previous coverage of the Pierce County’s Medical Examiner below.