boston.com your connection to The Boston Globe

Traffic story turns fatal for cameraman Killed filming risky intersection

OMAHA -- A TV cameraman was struck and killed by a car while shooting video of a dangerous intersection where two teenagers died in a wreck a month ago.

Jeff Frolio, 45, who worked for KETV in Nebraska's largest city, died Thursday.

The reporter who was working with Frolio said yesterday that the assignment had already been completed but that Frolio insisted on returning to the spot so that he could get better footage.

"I hope people understand that he was trying to make my story better, trying to make our coverage better and trying to give the people at home a better glimpse at the two lives that had been taken at that same intersection," KETV reporter Kevin Tomich said.

Authorities said no charges would be brought against the driver. They said there was no evidence the driver was speeding or did anything else wrong.

The accident happened near the same blind intersection where two teenagers were killed May 4 when their vehicle was struck by a pickup.

Frolio and Tomich were working on a story about the Nebraska Roads Department's plans to make the intersection safer.

Frolio was not satisfied with the footage, shot earlier in the day by another cameraman, of a roadside memorial to the two teens, Tomich said. The deadline for the 6 p.m. newscast was approaching, but Frolio insisted on shooting more video and got out of the KETV satellite truck.

Tomich said he popped his head out of the truck a few minutes later and noticed that cars had pulled to the side of the road and that a sheriff's deputy was there.

"That's when I saw the camera lying on the shoulder," Tomich said. "I went across the street and Jeff was on his back. The trooper was holding his hand. His eyes were still open. He wasn't talking. He was moaning."

Frolio died later at a hospital.

The intersection has seen many close calls. The problem, neighbors say, is that when drivers headed north or south reach the stop sign, they cannot see eastbound traffic approaching because of a hill. The speed limit for the east- and westbound traffic is 60 miles per hour.

A road sign warns of the blind intersection, but the Roads Department plans to create more shoulder room and move the painted stop bars on the road so that drivers can see oncoming traffic more easily.

Dustin Kruger, whose friend Kayla Wilkins was killed in last month's crash, said the intersection should probably have a light.

"When you come up on this intersection, you can't see halfway down that hill. About the time you see them is when you're about halfway into the street," he said. "You have to gun it to get around there or get across."

SEARCH THE ARCHIVES
 
Today (free)
Yesterday (free)
Past 30 days
Last 12 months
 Advanced search / Historic Archives