A NASCAR photographer had a close call when a race car struck him as he was shooting pictures.
The scary incident took place at Irwindale Speedway in California, a half-mile pavement oval, on Saturday night.
The photographer, in a high viz yellow bib, is shooting pictures just behind the barrier with what appears to be a telephoto lens on a monopod and a handheld second body with a wide-angle lens attached.
As the race cars come roaring past, the photographer swivels with the action meaning he is looking in the wrong direction when an errant car spins and hits the barrier the photographer is standing behind.
The car does a 180 and hits the barrier with its rear end, two wheels hang over the side intruding into the photographer’s work area and the cameraman is struck by the car’s trunk.
The impact knocks him to the ground causing staff to rush over to check on the fallen photographer. Thankfully he stands up almost immediately and is led away by emergency workers.
The lensman was placed in an ambulance, but just 15 minutes later was dropped back to hit spot so he could continue shooting pictures. According to the Redditor who posted the video, the photographer had some shoulder pain but was otherwise fine.
A fellow NASCAR photographer commented: “I’ve shot practice from where he was standing. For the races I’ve been to at Irwindale (many years ago), photogs could only shoot the backstretch. Made for lousy pictures (bad lighting, no action) but what can you do?”
Some questioned the wisdom of the photographer’s position in the first place.
“What the hell?! So glad he’s okay,” writes one Redditor. “Now we need to question why in the world anyone thought it was a good idea for him to be where he was.”
But another fellow photographer commented that “we put ourselves in sketchy spots” to get the best pictures.
“Just gotta be ready at all times to bail out and stay overly aware of your surroundings and what’s going on. Glad he was fine.”
Being in the firing line is an occupational hazard for sports photographers. Yesterday, PetaPixel reported on Buffalo Bills player Stefon Diggs wiping out a photographer on the sidelines trying to make a play. But the star wide receiver immediately checked on her after the collision.