When I heard the first police radio transmission of today’s dramatic Boston truck crash I hopped in my car and accelerated away from the Moakley Courthouse, where I had been stationed for Boston Herald coverage of the James “Whitey” Bulger trial. I hit extreme traffic that was barely moving inside the Tip O’Neill Tunnel. I finally made it as far as the Zakim Bridge when I was passed by Boston EMS and Fire department trucks. I heard a trooper on the police scanner say that the roadway was going to be fully shut down for “a while.” I donned my yellowish-lime safety vest, that media photographers MUST wear while working on a roadway, and made sure my press pass was around my neck. Shortly after the Zakim bridge I pulled over as far left as I could go and ditched my car. My car was fully out of the way of any other emergency worker’s vehicle that was still enroute. I then grabbed my cameras and jogged the Rte 93 upper deck until I arrived at the accident scene adjacent the Sullivan Sq. down ramp (see my photos below, and with Herald scribe John Zeremba’s story at the Herald’s website). The Massachusetts state troopers, Boston Fire and Boston EMS personnel were AWESOME & accommodating. The real problem was the extreme rain, as I could not keep my lens’ front glass dry, and making sure that I didn’t lean over the railing too far 🙂
I was driving east on Storrow when I saw this overturned car in the westbound lanes. A Massachusetts state trooper was rendering aid to the victim, who was laying inside and underneath the rolled vehicle. I parked under the Longfellow bridge and put on a lime green highway vest. News photographers on the highway, in essence, become highway workers so we are told to wear these vests. I crossed Storrow and came to a position at the median strip fence approximately 25 feet from the action. More troopers were arriving and one came over to me and asked what I was doing, etc. I told him that I was a photographer with the Herald and that I would “keep my distance” and not get too close and that I wasn’t going to move forward from my perch standing on the jersey barrier. I noticed the original trooper trying to calm the victim and, at the same time, ascertain what his injuries were. One man who had also stopped to render aid did not approve of my presence and stood in my view between the victim and my camera lens. I had to employ the old bob-and- weave method, all the while hoping that there would be some interaction, maybe a touch, between the two. I kept bobbing and the other by-stander kept weaving, and then it happened. State trooper Kevin Nichols reached out and lightly stroked the man’s leg while saying “hang in there.” It was a nice, subtle moment. I was glad to have captured it. Shortly afterward the Boston fire department took over and extricated the man. All in a day’s work for these officials.
I was photographing the 2nd of 3 deliberately set fires in the Pratt street area of Allston when neighbors pointed firefighters toward another fire that was burning. I ran with the firefighters, the arson squad and Boston police arson detective James Freeman toward the rear of an Ashford street home. Heavy fire was pushing out from the car and starting to ignite the shingles on the side of the structure. My photos below show Detective James Freeman and firefighters stretching hoses to the fire. The last photo shows Jeff Intinarelli, as he checks his totaled, still smoldering car. In all, this morning’s 3 arson fires destroyed a total of 5 cars. This makes a total of 8 deliberate burns in the span of 7 weeks in this small area of Allston. Over 10 cars have been destroyed. Check out my photos and Herald reporter John Zaremba’s story at bostonherald.com