Friday, June 11, 2004
TV News Cameraman Killed On Job in Omaha
Friday, June 11, 2004
OMAHA, Neb — An Omaha news photographer was killed Thursday when he was hit by a vehicle while filming a story about a dangerous intersection in west Omaha.
Hospital spokesman John Crow said KETV photographer Jeff Frolio, 45, died at Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha Thursday night.
Frolio was crossing the intersection when he was hit by a vehicle at about 5 p.m. Thursday.
He was taken to Creighton Medical Center by medical helicopter where he later died.
Frolio, a 20-year veteran with KETV, was covering a story for that night's broadcast about two Elkhorn teens who died at that intersection just a month before.
He was filming near a memorial set up in honor of the teenagers when he ran out of tape, Douglas County Sheriff Tim Dunning said.
Frolio was crossing the road to get another tape from his vehicle and he walked into oncoming traffic, Dunning said.
Authorities said the driver who hit Frolio was not speeding or drinking alcohol. The speed limit of the highway is 60 mph.
The driver didn't realize that she struck a pedestrian until after she looked in her rearview mirror, deputies said.
The driver has not been ticketed, Dunning said.
The intersection is located near a hilltop and has a lot of free-flowing traffic from both east and west, Dunning said.
Several residents have complained that the busy intersection is a traffic hazard. But Dunning said he didn't think there was anything wrong with the highway.
"Unfortunately he walked into the path of a vehicle," Dunning said. "It's not a traffic engineering problem."
Dunning said he did not know if immediate changes would be made to the intersection.
"He was one hell of a nice guy," Dunning said. "He's been the camera guy for several people and it was a terrible loss."
KETV paid tribute to Frolio in its late broadcast Thursday by taking a moment of silence and telling stories about their colleague.
Pete Soby, a fellow photographer, said his colleagues just tried to get through the night.
"I've never wanted to be on this side of the story," Soby said "He was a great guy to work with. He was a great friend and will be sorely missed."
Anchors and reporters choked back tears during the newscast as they reported Frolio's death.
Frolio, a popular photographer with other members of the television news media, was chosen as the Nebraska Television Photographer of the Year twice in his career.
Frolio leaves behind a wife and three children. He was a 1976 graduate of Omaha North High School. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1982. His colleagues said he was a music lover who was passionate about North High School, trains, playwriting and photojournalism.