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

    By: Kevin McCarty

    Updated:

    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. 

    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.

    August 21: Video shows Pierce County medical examiner discussing controversial decision about teen's death

    August 19: Pierce County's prosecuting attorney says subpoenas demanding records from media won't be refiled

    May 14: Employee claims Pierce County Medical Examiner fabricated evidence

    April 11: Family of teen who died in fall from Puyallup bridge suing to have cause of death changed

    March 13: Employees speak out on Pierce County Medical Examiner

    March 12: Family claims Pierce County medical examiner should not have ruled son's death a suicide

    March 8: Attorney representing Pierce County Medical Examiner responds to complaints

    March 7: Independent review unveils concerns on some of Pierce County Medical Examiner’s conclusions

    March 6: Police speak out on how Pierce County medical examiner handled possible homicide case

    March 4: Pierce County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Clark now facing three separate complaints

    March 1: New details on the investigation into Pierce County Medical Examiner Dr. Tom Clark

    January 24: Whistleblower accuses Pierce County Medical Examiner of shoddy death investigations

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