TACOMA, Wash. – The Washington Supreme Court has sided with BNSF Railway, ruling the Pierce County medical examiner has no right to a copy of a video showing a man being struck by a train.
The News Tribune reported Medical Examiner Thomas Clark tried to get the railway turn over a copy of the video to help determine the manner of death of 50-year-old Ronnie Stirgus.
Police say Stirgus appeared to have slipped or stumbled as the train approached in Puyallup in February 2017.
Clark told a lower court he intended to use a coroner’s inquest to subpoena the video.
Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst wrote for the court Thursday that the video could be subpoenaed, but “the subpoena is returnable only to the inquest jury, not the coroner’s office.”
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.