A photojournalist operating in a small town sustained a serious injury after he was run over by the mayor’s truck during a dispute over parking.
Fox 2 cameraman Wade Smith was with reporter Mitch McCoy in the village of Hillsdale, Missouri to investigate why the local authority there had been threatening to tow multiple cars for not displaying village permit stickers.
After speaking with Police Chief John Bernsen, the journalists wanted to speak with Dorothy Moore who is the “chair of the board of trustees”, a position that is also known as the mayor.
Moore, who presides over Hillsdale — a municiplatiy in St. Louis County that has a population of around 8,100 — has a history of not talking to reporters; going so far as to have a sign erected in the village barring members of the media.
Things Get Strange
The police chief denied that the mayor was at the Village Hall, but the journalists could hear her talking inside. After waiting for around an hour, with McCoy shouting outside to request an interview, the mayor makes a hasty exit out of the back door and dashes toward the truck.
The photographer alerts the journalist to the escaping mayor and Smith runs over to ask her questions. “Why are you avoiding us?” Asks Smith. “Mayor, people want to know, what’s going on with these tickets?”
The mayor climbs into the passenger seat as a municipality worker starts the engine from the driver’s seat. As Smith shouts questions at the mayor, the driver gets ready to pull off which is when the footage cuts because it’s the last image that Smith captured before getting run over by the trailer attached to the truck.
After Smith was run over, an ambulance arrived to take the stricken photographer to the hospital where he underwent emergency surgery on his leg.
To make matters worse, the Hillsdale worker, who was told to drive away by the mayor, saw the lensman on the ground in his rearview mirror but tells police he was unaware Smith had been hit.
Fox 2 has taken the decision not to air the footage of the photographer being run over because there is now an active police investigation. The unnamed Hillsdale employee driving the truck has been arrested and released pending a prosecutor’s review to decide if charges will be filed.
The photographer is now at home recovering from his injuries.