A reporter from Huntington West Virginia is lucky to be alive after she had a close call while out on assignment reporting on a water main break. She was doing a live report when the unthinkable happened. Her name is Tori Yorgey and she is a reporter with WSAZ in Huntington West Virginia population 46,667. A small market Television station.

As with many small-market stations, many reporters are out solo to run their own cameras and report the news story. Yorgey obviously had her back to the traffic and it was dark, so this was a dangerous situation for anyone to be in. She was reporting on a water main break when she was struck from behind by an SUV.

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I spoke with Dan Hanger who is a news anchor with FOX21 in Duluth about the video and he said:

Jeanne, the video is both terrifying and irritating at the same time. It’s terrifying, of course, because that reporter could have been severely injured or even killed. But it’s almost instantly irritating because this whole thing could have most likely been avoided if the reporter in this small market-making peanuts for a living had an actual photographer behind the camera to alert her. She was sent out there by her TV station management at night alone to report and shoot her own live shot – all to save a buck and not send a photographer with her. It’s cheap, unsafe, and laughable to the television news business – but it’s a trend that just doesn’t seem to go away. And it’s also one of the reasons the talent pool for job openings at TV stations is getting dramatically smaller. I’m hoping the extra push of the worker shortage and change in worker behavior post-pandemic might change this, including the severely low pay journalists get at TV stations, especially smaller markets like Duluth – for the sake of being fair, treating employees better, and making sure journalism doesn’t suffer. I absolutely understand the concept of a one-man-band reporter who goes out to gather a story, be the photographer, writer, and editor for a feature story – but not hard news, dangerous situations, crime stories, etc.

After she was struck Yorgey disappeared from the camera as the anchor back at the news station sat stunned not knowing what was going on. Miraculously she popped back up into the frame of the camera obviously shaken up but was able to compose herself enough to finish her report. Check out the video below to see the entire story:

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