Reporter's On-Air Shocker: 'I Just Got Hit by a Car!'

Tori Yorgey of West Virginia's WSAZ was OK after the incident and kept reporting
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2022 7:00 PM CST

A young reporter for a West Virginia TV station had a close call Wednesday night that brought in praise for her resilience, as well as criticism for a colleague. Per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 25-year-old Tori Yorgey of WSAZ was about to do a live report in Charleston about a water main break in Dunbar when she was hit by an SUV during the broadcast. Video shows Yorgey intro'ing her piece, then being thrown by the impact of the vehicle slowly driving past her in the stormy night. "Oh my god! I just got hit by a car but I'm OK! I just got hit by a car but I'm OK, Tim," she says, talking to anchor Tim Irr back in the studio. Irr, who doesn't show much of a reaction at the news, notes, "That's a first for you on TV, Tori." A woman's voice is heard in the background asking Yorgey if she was OK, to which Yorgey replies, "I'm OK. ... That's live TV for you. It's all good."

A concerned-looking Irr asks at one point if Yorgey is indeed OK, and whether she'd been "bumped down low ... or ... hit up high," as he hadn't seen what had happened. (The Post-Gazette notes he only had a teleprompter and small monitor about 20 feet away from him.) Yorgey notes, "I don't even know, Tim. My whole life just flashed before my eyes. ... Clearly we might need to move the camera over a bit." Irr is now taking flak for his muted reaction during the broadcast. "I couldn't see what happened. Only audio," he tweeted in response to criticism. "Then, I wasn't truly convinced she was ok." When some online continued to insist he should've reacted differently, he wrote: "Trying to remain calm at the moment was not easy for all involved. But we tried to the best of our ability."

He adds that he's grateful that the driver checked on Yorgey to make sure she was OK. Others in media are taking the station to task for allowing Yorgey to be out in inclement weather alone, running her own camera in a "one man band" live shot. Yorgey was examined at a local hospital and is said to be fine, per Today, via NBC News, which notes it's not clear if the driver of the SUV was detained or questioned by police. Meanwhile, Yorgey, a Philly-area native who will start a new reporting gig for Pittsburgh's WTAE-TV in February, now has a big fan: Savannah Guthrie, who while reporting on the incident for Today called Yorgey an "intrepid reporter" and her "hero," adding, "I'm impressed." (More reporters stories.)

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