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Photographer Killed Chasing Justin Bieber
Posted by Ivetta Babadjanian on Jan 2, 2013 - 1:42:47 PM
LOS ANGELES—A photographer was struck and killed by oncoming traffic as he walked across a Los Angeles freeway to get back to his car after taking pictures of whom he thought was Justin Bieber in a white Ferrari. The 18-year-old pop star was not in the vehicle at the time of the incident and it was his friend Lil' Twist who was driving the car.
Justin Bieber. Photo courtesy of Twitter.
California Highway Patrol Officers had pulled over Bieber's vehicle on Tuesday, January 1, at an off-ramp of Interstate 405. Officials reported that the photographer, identified as Chris Guerra, parked his car across the street and crossed to get photos of the driver being ticketed. Officers told Guerra twice to go back to his vehicle.
As Guerra crossed the street back to his car, he was struck by a Toyota Highlander. He was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center where he died.
The driver was a 69-year-old woman and had two small grandchildren in the back seat. It is unclear how fast she was going. However, Guerra was carried about 30 feet on the hood of her car. She is not believed to be at fault for the accident and reports indicate it is unlikely she will be ticketed.
"While I was not present nor directly involved with this tragic accident, my thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim," Bieber said in a statement.
"Hopefully this tragedy will finally inspire meaningful legislation and whatever other necessary steps to protect the lives and safety of celebrities, police officers, innocent public bystanders, and the photographers themselves."
Bieber has had a few run-ins with the paparazzi over the past year. In July, a group of paparazzi in different vehicles chased the singer down the freeway. "He was coming up behind me, making abrupt lane changes, not giving signals, cutting off cars," said Los Angeles City Councilman, Dennis Zine.
Zine reported the incident to the highway patrol which led to Bieber being ticketed for speeding in his Fiska Karma and a photographer receiving criminal charges, including reckless driving.
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