Sunday, December 16, 2012

California: Art Teacher Killed by Train While Taking Photos in Sacramento

According to The Sacramento BeeKathy Carlisle, 52, an art and photography teacher at St. Francis High School was killed by a moving freight train near 65th Street and Elvas Avenue on December 8.

Although the accident is under investigation, preliminary conclusions suggest that Ms. Carlisle may have been standing on one set of tracks as she photographed an incoming train on another, not realizing there were two two trains on the tracks at the same time.

COMMENT: Our sympathies and condolences go out to Ms. Carlisle's family, friends and students.

In our overly litigious world, Union Pacific (UP) disseminated a written policy earlier this year  because of safety concerns for people capturing images of trains. The policy requires photographers to stay off of UP property, including tracks, bridges, buildings and signal towers. 

As a semi-professional photographer myself, I can understand fully how preoccupied any photographer can become when capturing the "perfect shot." I myself was nearly bitten by a cobra years ago in Thailand while photographing its encounter with a mongoose.

A lesson-learned for creative photographers is to always take a friend on photo shoots, largely for safety reasons.

Anecdotally, our regular readers should notice that in our roughly 1,500 postings over a three-year period, there have been a good number of photographers who have been seriously injured or killed from elevated falls in search of an award-winning photography.  

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