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Anything outdoors!  Tornadoes, eagles, blizzards, or auroras.  If it is in the sky, running through the woods or swimming in the water, I'm there!

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Highway 55 fatal crash

Sometimes as a stringer we see things which are upsetting. I have seen a lot of destruction from tornadoes and other natural disasters but once in a while something hits close to home....literally. On my way home yesterday, I came across a serious motorcycle accident. It had obviously occurred within the past few minutes. I found a safe place to park and a place on public property I could shoot from out of the way of LE and the medical personnel.

The Rockford firefighters, paramedics, and EMT's worked really hard on this guy to keep him alive. Once the life flight chopper arrived and the flight surgeon went to put what appeared to be a chest tube in the guy, he finally gave up.

I didn't see any helmet, no blood. The skid mark from his cycle was about 25-35 feet. The damage to the car which turned left in front of him was amazing. It really looks like it was t-boned by another car.

I later learned this gentleman was 61 years old. Not some kid flying around on a crotch rocket. As I filmed them covering him up, I wondered how his day started. Did he talk to his kids? Did he tell his wife we was going out for a ride to enjoy the warm, sunny Saturday morning? Pretty obvious how it ended.

This is one of the few times I have felt really bad karma about filming something like this. Not sure why but as Doug pointed out, all we do is record life. We have no impact on the outcome.

Fox9 used the video as their lead story at 9 last night with a good story by Dave who did a nice cycle safety story pointing out there are more older riders than ever and the need for both drivers and riders to sharpen their safety skills.

The following footage has been heavily edited to omit what happened when I first got there and also when they removed him from the scene out of respect of the victim's family. One thing that happened which kind of irritated me was the State Patrolman who approached me as I was leaving as asked if I filmed "the body". I replied the shots were partially blocked of "the person". Guess officer Barney has seen too many of these to remember the bodies are people...sons, husbands, dads...

1 comment:

Michael said...

That's weird ... I came across a motorcycle accident this week too. A car turned in front of a guy in one of the worst intersections. Found out later that he died from his injuries. Sucks that people don't look out for cyclists more this time of year.

The bird pics are great, btw -

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