Monday, May 24, 2010

So Not Worth It

KSL Photog's Gear
You can try to be careful, but spatial awareness and a day-glo vest will help but so much when you're clinging to the side of a busy interstate. It's one of the less logical things we photogs do. Most times though, a few minutes on foot in the breakdown lane results in forty seconds of newscast filler: a sauteed blur of rubber, chrome and steel. As footage goes, it's pretty forgettable and the inherent risk in its acquisition roundly ignored. Then, something tragic happens. Such was the case today when a sedan struck KSL photographer Mike Radice as he shot video of emergency repairs along westbound I-80. UDOT crews had blocked off all but one lane as they worked to restore a washout.

A sedan and semi truck collided as a result, and the ensuing energy spun the sedan into Radice - who no doubt didn't expect to become part of the news today. His exact injuries are not known, but he remains at University Hospital in serious condition. My heart goes out to Mike Radice, but his murky fate angers me as well, for the kind of video gathered by the side of a screaming highway is often generic, gratuitous noise will little benefit to the viewer and unthinkable risks to the person tasked with bringing it back under deadline. Will I refuse to go the next time I'm dispatched to a similar scene? Unlikely, but I will do everything within my power to minimize the risk, though as Mike Radice and the people of love him can tell you, there's only so much you can do when you're all alone and exposed on the open road. Godspeed.

(Photo by Matt Lee, ABC 4 News )


Don Moore said...

Great post.

Thom Berry said...

Always a good reminder to be careful out there. We lost our friend Joe Loy from WHNS Fox 21 that way.
Be safe.

30frames said...

My thoughts go out to him and his family.
This is why shooting on interstates scares me more than any other location.

Doug said...

One of the most sensible things ever done at WAGA was when it decreed that no live truck shall ever raise its mast in the emergency lane of a limited-access highway. It wouldn't have applied to the unfortunate Mr. Radice. But management -- or some of them (the WAGA memo was written by a guy now retired) knows the risks.