Friday, April 11, 2008

Another crash on the freeway

Well, in between my full schedule, I was sent to Pomona from West Covina for an accident where people were ejected and others were in extreme critical condition. Having this happen in our sister paper the Daily Bulletin's very own backyard didn't seem to matter I suppose, and I was shipped to the carnage. Battling traffic which was horrendous I snapped my first picture just about one hour (11:45) after the accident happened, of all things, of people who had crawled through a hole in a fence and climbed up a steep bank to get a closer look at the bloodbath.

Well, instead of battling more traffic to get to the scene, I parked at the Home Depot on Towne Ave. just south of the 60 freeway in Pomona and crawled through the fence and up the steep bank. I then had to have a CHP officer stop traffic so I could go across three lanes to get to where a totally demolished Camry was facing the other way on the eastbound car pool lane. I could see one body covered next to the car so I snapped. As I maneuvered to the center divider, I noticed another body covered on the other side of the freeway. Yes, on the westbound lanes. I later found it this person was ejected some 100 plus feet from the vehicle.

According to reports, the vehicle lost control, went up the center divider, struck a pole for the signs that go across the freeway telling motorists the exits coming up. Well, if this accident had happened before or after this pole, I bet you maybe, not just one but more of the five in the car would have survived. This is just what I feel but maybe not. Two died in or on their way to hospital.

But, after working the images to give the best of why the traffic was so bad, TWO DEAD BODIES ON THE ROAD, ONE ON EACH SIDE, someone at the paper decided no to use ANY showing remotely that there was a body covered by something. If this accident had not had fatalities, it would have been cleared up pretty quickly and traffic would have continued on. But, the reason for the lanes closures was in fact the bodies on the ground, so I feel this was very significant in why there was so much traffic. I was told by one person that I needed to give a photo WITH NO BODY in it. I felt as if I was being railroaded and systematically, selectively being discriminated against. Just a few days before, a full front page photo of a body on a gurney was published on the hardcopy paper and front page of the website of the Star News. I was still given the same non-answer that people give you when they have no argument or explanation (other than they do it because they can), so I asked who I needed to talk to to bring up my concern. I was told to go to a higher up, so I did.. and low and behold, that person agreed with me. The higher up said we have even ran uncovered bodies when the Iraq war first began. My online gallery still has not pics of the bodies, but here they are for you to judge.

Lastly, it was also reported that this car was speeding to catch up to two or three other cars from the same group that had gone ahead. Furthermore, only one of the occupants was said to be wearing a seat belt.

If anything, I believe the photos shows what can happen when speeding and not wearing seat-belts. Just yesterday there was "show & tell" at a Pasadena school where already-crashed cars were set out on the street and student actors went out there and played victims. The idea was to shock students into not drinking and driving, speeding, etc.

Now, those photos from the fake event, also ran in the paper and could be shocking when first looked at. I do not subscribe to the "grassy knoll" type of theories, but I am begin to feel that for some reason, I feel that those who have power just use it without real rhyme or reason. I was out at the location and I witnessed first hand the carnage and I tried to show in a non-sensationalistic manner what happened, but people who may have only seen the crash on television, think they have a better understanding of how to bring the news to the people. I will disagree on this one 100%.

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