The relationship between photographers and celebrities will likely become more complicated in the new year after a 29-year-old photographer was killed trying to take pictures of Justin Bieber's car. The California Highway Patrol stopped his Ferrari on the 405 Freeway just before 6:00 p.m. on New Year's Day. The photographer stopped his car on a windy portion of Sepulveda Boulevard and crossed the road to get a prime shot of the pop superstar. A picture of a high-profile celebrity in legal trouble could yield more than $100,000.
The patrol officer ordered the photographer to leave the scene. While crossing back to his car, the photographer was struck and killed by an SUV.
Bieber was not driving his Ferrari and was not in the vehicle when it was stopped. However, he released a statement calling the situation "a tragic accident" and that his "thoughts and prayers" were with the photographer's family.
Bieber has had a number of run-ins with paparazzi, and has even brought legal action against a photographer under a California law that requires photographers to maintain a safe distance from celebrities after a car chase last summer.
We find that this story underscores the duties that drivers and pedestrians owe to use reasonable care in sharing the road. The details surrounding the accident are still being investigated, but initial reports suggest that the photographer was not looking as he returned to his car. As such, it is unlikely that the driver of the SUV would be charged with a crime. Nevertheless, additional facts may arise that could lay the foundation for a wrongful death suit.
Source: Time.com, Paparazzo killed while trying to take photo of Justin Bieber, January 2, 2013