High school football photographer Linda Gregory has died after an accident during a game she was covering caused her to hit her head.
Her husband Mel confirmed the sad news after it had been reported that Linda was on life support with “little hope left” after the incident in Kansas on Monday night.
Further details of what happened have come to light during the junior varsity game between Wichita Northwest High School and Bishop Carroll High School.
Two players were engaged in a block that carried on out of bounds where they collided with Linda. The photographer had her camera trained somewhere else on the field and noticed the players coming toward her very late. After she fell backward and hit her head on the concrete apron, the players immediately stopped to help her as the medics were called over within seconds.
Linda’s husband Mel made the decision to to take Linda off life support and move her to Kansas City where her organs will be donated. Mel says that this is what Linda would have wanted and she had requested a do-not-resuscitate order which the family conformed to.
Tributes for Linda have poured in, led by her husband Mel who revealed Linda’s photography enabled her to travel extensively — including to Romania where she was invited to take photos of various sports teams there and was even commissioned to shoot a wedding in the Eastern European country.
The incident highlights the dangers for sports photographers covering not only football but baseball as well. Photographer Tony Morano had to be taken to hospital after an incident during the XFL championship game. And YES cameraman Pete Stendel has only just returned to work after a two-month hiatus after he was struck in the head by a wayward baseball.
“Linda was an amazing person who breathed life into our students here at Northwest,” Northwest Grizzlies football coach Steve Martin says.
“Her passion for kids was amazing, but it went deeper than taking pictures for Linda and Mel. They were a part of our football team and always will be. They are family! She was a mentor and friend to some of our boys, past and present, and they are hurting right now.”