Bellevue, Nebraska photographer Terry Ingram is incredibly grateful that his Nikon DSLR stopped working in the middle of an outing last weekend. If it hadn’t, three young men might not be alive today.
Ingram shared the incredible story with the Omaha World Herald and KETV 7, explaining how a bit of photographic bad luck made sure that he was in the right place at the right time.
Ingram was out shooting eagles near Offutt Base Lake this past Saturday. Around noon, his camera abruptly stopped working.
“I tried to press on the shutter and nothing happened,” Ingram tells PetaPixel. “I took my battery pack off and the camera was still on. So, I went to my truck and changed batteries, but still nothing. I texted a D5/D500 group to try and get some answers because the eagles were really busy and the lighting was just right.”
Unable to get any help from the group, Ingram was just about to leave when suddenly he saw a white car come flying through his field of vision. The car had lost control while crossing a set of railroad tracks and gone airborne, flying right past Ingram and landing upside down in a frozen pond.
“I can’t swim, but that didn’t cross my mind,” Ingram tells the World Herald. “I heard a guy screaming, ‘Get me out, it’s filling with water.’”
After calling 911, he waded into the frozen water, found one door that opened (after multiple yanks), and ended up pulling three young men out of the car one by one, saving them from near-certain death.
“God puts people in places for a reason,” Ingram tells the World Herald. “My camera needed to stop working for me to go back to my truck.”
“If my camera wouldn’t have failed, I would have kept on shooting and might have heard something but [because of] the location that I was in, I wouldn’t have seen it,” Ingram tells PetaPixel. “And the angle of the crash… if you were heading North, you wouldn’t have seen the car. And heading South, you would have had to be looking over to the left to see it. Not many people travel that road due to the flooding we had last year.”
Ingram says that upon returning home after the accident, he tried turning on his camera again and it worked perfectly fine.
One of the three men was monitored for hypothermia, but all three escaped the incident with non-life-threatening injuries and will be just fine thanks to one photographer’s selfless heroics.
DL Cade contributed to this article.