August 10, 2007


Accidents Wrecks do happen.

Today, I was sent to my first real accident wreck as a reporter. I won't go into much detail, but three-vehicles were involved and (by the time I left work) two people were dead. I arrived in time to see two people removed from the scene of the accident wreck on stretchers. I'm fairly certain one of those people died at a hospital later in the day, but I can't say that with full confidence.

It's an odd thing to write about something like that, especially when what is written is less than four column inches of text (about 120 words). It's one of those things that will permanently and dramatically affect those who knew the deceased, but it isn't "big" news because car accidents wrecks happen all the time.

In order to keep a clear head at the scene and while writing, I think it is necessary to distance oneself emotionally from what happened. One can feel awful about what happened later. I think it is more important to share the story of what happened.

The big question to which this line of thought must eventually lead is at what point does a reporter (or anyone else dealing with this sort of thing) stop seeing people as people. That is not something I can answer, but I can say I have not yet met anyone guilty of that.

On a related note, I met the reporter from the Tyler paper who covered the death of my sister. We are both covering a rather important trial. When I told him I was from Mt. Enterprise, he asked if I knew any of the kids that were killed a few years ago because he wrote about it. It was a tiny bit awkward after I told him my sister was one of them.

Posted by Randy at August 10, 2007 12:04 AM | TrackBack