A fatal car crash in Southern California went viral for the wrong reason after a broadcast journalist claimed she had attempted contact the dead victim for comment on Sept. 16.
KLTA5 reporter Sara Welch was delivering a live news report about a man, who died from car crash during a police pursuit, when she strangely suggested she had the ability to speak with someone who had passed away.
“We tried to reach out to the man who died in this pursuit, they were unavailable for comment,” Welch can be heard saying in a video clip New York Magazine contributor Yashar Ali posted to Twitter.
The unusual remark prompted many social media users to play the video repeatedly to check if they had heard right that Welch had somehow tried to contact the deceased and discovered he was “unavailable for comment.”
The video had been played more than 4.4 million times, liked 95,000 times, and retweeted 23,000 times at the time of this publication.
After realizing Welch really did say it, Ali could not stop himself from laughing.
“When I say I nearly passed out from laughing,” he said on Twitter.
Many news reporters who commented on the Twitter video believed it really would have been the “biggest get in journalism history” if Welch had really managed to speak with the dead.
“She was this close to the biggest get in journalism history,” The Atlantic Staff Writer Jemele Hill said on Twitter.
The Lakewood Shopper Political Reporter Shlomo Schorr appeared disappointed Welch did not even source anonymous comments from the dead driver.
“Not even something ‘off the record?'” Schorr said on Twitter.
Not even something “off the record?”
— Shlomo Schorr (@OneJerseySchorr) September 16, 2019
Another person suggested the confusion could have simply been caused by omitting the words the “man’s family members” or “police regarding” the man.
“Let’s not been mean, she probably was in a short time frame to get the report out, and she meant to said ‘to reach out to the police regarding the death person’ common people, who have not made a mistake in a rush,” hospitality professional Manuel Orta said on Twitter.
Let’s not been mean, she probably was in a short time frame to get the report out, and she meant to said “to reach out to the police regarding the death person” common people, who have not made a mistake in a rush
— Manuel Orta C (@nel_ito) September 17, 2019