The Complete Wedding Training System is Finally Here!

Your content will be up shortly. Please allow up to 5 seconds
Current Events

Photographer Causes Terrible Crash During Giro D’Italia (Tour Of Italy) Bike Race

By Hanssie on May 15th 2015

As one redditor put it, “This is why we can’t have nice things.”

For over a century, the Giro d’Italia (Tour of Italy) draws cyclists from all over the world. As one of the three major European professional cycling races, known as the Grand Tours (which includes the famous Tour de France), this prestigious race draws quite the crowds over the 20+ day long race.

giro-de-italia-1

Yesterday, a spectator who was photographing the event on the sidelines with their long lens (what looks to be a 70-200mm), caused a crash in the final stretch of Stage 6 when they leaned over the rail of the barrier to take a picture. Cyclist Daniele Colli, who was sprinting up the side, ran into the camera and lens, fell and broke his arm in a horrific manner. In the following video, which is extremely graphic, you can see Colli hitting the fan, falling and his arm bent at an almost 90-degree angle – in the wrong direction. It reminded me of Anderson Silva breaking his leg last year in the UFC fight.

Several other riders, including the race leader, Alberto Contador, also fell due to the initial crash. Contador, who suffered a dislocated shoulder was expected to ride in today’s leg, and remains optimistic that he will start and hopes to continue his lead in the rest of the race.

Warning: The video below is graphic and may be disturbing for some. (Meaning: Don’t watch if your stomach gets queasy when body parts bend in ways it shouldn’t)

As a photographer, whether professional or amateur, we tend to do whatever it takes to get the shot, but it takes stories like this to remind us that we need to be careful (duh) and aware of our surroundings when we are lost in our little world, clicking away. Don’t be the careless, unaware photographer that is only concerned with getting the shot. Use your common sense.

Note: this is the second spectator caused crash of this race. The first was caused by an over enthused fan who tried to join the race on his own bike in Stage 2.

[Via Business Insider]

About

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at www.hanssie.com and www.fittedmagazine.com. Follow her on Instagram. Email her at:
[email protected]

Q&A Discussions

Please or register to post a comment.

  1. Joseph Prusa

    Wow What an idiot .

    | |
  2. john Oh

    I am afraid that I have to disagree with most of the comments here.

    People in general are idiots and the organisers did not take that into consideration. The photographer is also partly at fault for leaning out into the race way, but he would have been leaning out to see past a head that was blocking his view. Think how crowds work, everybody cranes their necks to get a better view, and while the action is far away, you don’t think it will get so close to you or that you will become part of the event!

    My next point is that the lens pokes out about 12 to 18 inches from the photographer and at that distance there are racers passing at about 50mph! Too close for comfort for everybody. If the cyclist had fallen due to an incident on the track he would have been into the crowd and done injury to some of the spectators. This is why there should have been a bigger buffer area to separate the racers from the public. To put this into perspective, would you feel safe standing on footpath (sidewalk) with a truck passing 18 inches from you doing 50mph? I wouldn’t, however, I have to say that I also wouldn’t lean out into the traffic, with my camera, to photograph the traffic. But as I said people are idiots.

    My next point is security. How venerable are the cyclists to anybody who wants to ‘make a statement’ by disrupting the race and injuring a competitor. The organisers should be worried here. If several riders take a multi euro case, there is no way the photographer would have that kind of money. So I expect they would take a case against the organisers who would have insurance.

    I believe the real issue is not the photographer getting in the way but that people in general were allowed to get too close to the cyclists.

    John

    | |
    • Kevin Smith

      You have a bleak view of people. Yes, people do stupid things and make mistakes, I know I have, but the only real solution is educating spectators and even then some people will do stupid things, especially obsessed fans! You can only put barriers up and create buffer zones in streets that are insanely huge because if the road is too narrow leading up to the finish line you put the cyclists in more danger. Using the lower levels of a baseball field as buffer zones and only having seating in the nose bleeds to protect the crowd from foul balls is similar to what your suggestion is for cycling. If a spectator causes a crash by accident then they are liable for the consequences just like if you hit someone with your car by accident, killing them, you will be charged with vehicular manslaughter.

      | |
  3. Andre G.

    The spatial awareness issue as someone mentioned above is very likely the real culprit here. I watched a TV cameraman almost lose his life because he was zoomed in to a car that wiped out and was coming right at him – straight at him – and he didn’t realize that impact with him was imminent. I’m not making excuses for the photographer as it is up to you to understand this effect, but I doubt that his intent was to endanger anyone just so he could get the shot.

    | |
    • J. Dennis Thomas

      He wasn’t attending as a photographer. He was attending as a spectator. He brought his camera and endangered people’s lives not for any other reason than he wanted to take personal photos. Whether he intended to do it or not isn’t the issue. The shot he wanted to get wasn’t for the news or the cycling team or the event, it was for himself and in trying to play the part of “cool pro sports photographer with the big lens” he seriously hurt someone.

      This is why most sports limit photography to working professionals only. And that’s the way it should be.

      | |
  4. Stephen Jennings

    Typical Canon shooter…

    | |
  5. Bill Veik

    Doesn’t take a camera in your hand to demonstrate poor human behavior. Trade the camera for a gun, car, knife, whatever. It becomes deadly when you add 3 things…….a human being, an attitude that doing what you want is most important, and that list of wants does not need to feature common sense, rules, personal responsibility, or right and wrong.

    When you add mental instability, well, there are your mass tragedies/attacks. But most people operate as though the problem doesn’t happen till that last step. Which is why they will still dial emergency 911 when their cable goes out during an important tv show. Because they like doing what they want too.

    I call it IWANTO disease. Its responsible for more deaths than all others combined.

    | |
  6. Richard Olender

    I’m on the fence on this one
    He was behind the barrier.
    Was he reckless?

    I don’t think so
    Should he have been aware that he lens crossed the barrier…sure

    Had the shoe been on the other food and say a cyclist lost control and injured a spectator, would he be held responsible? No! The promoter would probably say that spectators assume all risks

    The photographer was were he was supposed to be, he did not jump over the barrier to get the shot. Maybe a bigger buffer zone is required to protect everyone.

    | |
    • John Sheehan

      It is absolutely the photographer’s fault. He leaned over the barrier (so he was no longer totally behind the barrier as he was supposed to be), he did not pay attention to the oncoming cyclists, and caused the accident. If any part of him is over the barrier, and in the path of cyclists, he becomes an obstacle and is at fault for any harm he causes. I’m sorry, but there is no defense for his reckless actions.

      | |
    • J. Dennis Thomas

      100% the photographers fault ( yes, you are required to sign away your right to sue for damages from accidents by the racers when you enter as a spectator). And let’s not forget the he was there as a SPECTATOR not as a photographer. He was not working press. He was nothing but a hazard.

      | |
    • J. Dennis Thomas

      Nobody seems to address the fact that this guy SAW what he did and started backing up and disappeared into the background. He caused great bodily harm to someone and sneaked off into the crowd like a coward. I hope someone identifies him and he’s held responsible for his actions as well as for leaving the scene.

      And for anyone who wants to stick up for him, just remember, next year there will be no professional photography rigs allowed unless you are on assignment and I guarantee that will be pervasive throughout the whole sport. One person’s idiotic behavior can ruin things for everyone. So if you ever wanted to shoot something like this but don’t have a way to get credentials be prepared to use a point and shoot.

      | |
    • Scottie Nguyen

      Absolutely 100% photographer’s fault. Let’s use process of elimination. 1. The cyclist was in a race and he stayed in the street where he was suppose to ? Yes. So it cannot be his fault. 2. Did the photographer or any part of his equipment enter a space of a race. Yes !!! Clearly using a process of elimination you can conclude that the fault was on the part of the photographer !!! Richard, clearly we are photographers and we want the photographer to be blameless. But we are human beings with common sense first and we should hold this person to be a human being with common sense. Clearly this human being felt guilty KNOWing what he did and try to get away. Was it intentional? Most likely not. It’s like manslaughter. You didn’t intend but still be responsible for your actions.

      | |
  7. J. Dennis Thomas

    This photographer should be charged with aggravated assault, a 2nd degree felony. I don’t know about Italian law, but his actions certainly fit the criteria here in the USA (intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing serious bodily injury to another person) The egregious disregard for everyone and everything around him was indeed reckless behavior.

    The photographer has opened himself up to financially devastating civil suits as well. The medical bills alone would cost a fortune, not to mention the loss of money that the sponsors of the rider could try to recoup, the rider could sue for lost income, and if the rider loses his ability to race at the pro level which could very easily be the case after seeing that injury this photographer is looking at millions of dollars in damages.

    | |
  8. | |
  9. John Sheehan

    People seem to only pay attention to what’s in eyepiece. Wasn’t there a story a few years ago about a photographer jumping into the path of a bike race to get a shot? The “get the shot at any cost” mindset is a sure way to get people hurt. Stay out of the way!

    | |
    • J. Dennis Thomas

      “People seem to only pay attention to what’s in eyepiece.”

      Compelling argument for the return of the rangefinder!

      | |
  10. barbara farley

    I’m sure hurting someone else was the last thing this photographer wanted to do, but for me, it was a good eye opener.

    | |
  11. Kyle Stauffer

    First I’ve ever seen a lens actually “break an arm”. It appeared that happened from the lens, not the ground. Ouch!!

    | |
    • Graham Curran

      Any sufficiently hard object will cause damage when the impact velocity is high enough.

      | |
    • don sheffler

      Looking really closely, the cyclist’s helmet hit the 70-200, but THEN his shoulder ran into someone’s ipad before he went down. The 70-200 didn’t break his arm.

      | |
    • don sheffler

      A comment I made a minute ago, I said “the” 70-200 hit is helmet, meaning, not his arm. Something big hit his arm, and it may have been a 70-200, but it may be a completely separate one from what I’m seeing. There is a 70-200. or something big, up high, and his helmet runs right through it, glancing he lens upward. He then plows through a couple more things, could be the photographer’s arm, another photographer’s lens, don’t know. And then finally an ipad; can clearly see him rip through an ipad. What a mess.

      | |
  12. Michael LaNasa

    What’s sad is that a handful or riders who have been training for this race are now injured and unable to compete. Hopefully there weren’t any permanent injuries.

    Adding to the comment by Thomas Horton above, I think there’s also another issue that many people (in this case, specifically photographers) fall victim to: being spatially unaware. There’s a good chance this guy was so involved with getting the shot he wanted that he was completely unaware of the cyclists right in front of him. I’m not even saying that in a way to make an excuse; it’s a huge problem.

    Just more proof that being completely unaware of your surroundings when shooting events, candid street, or really any type of photos can threaten your safety, that of others, or simply be super disrespectful.

    | |
    • Derek Schwartz

      Matt Granger just trashed his Nikon D810 on a shoot because he was “spatially unaware”…so let’s add “the cost of equipment” to the list of why photographers should try to be more aware of our surroundings.

      | |
    • Thomas Horton

      I believe there was a story recently where a wedding photographer died when he tripped, while walking backward and hit his head.

      Shooting in one direction while walking in another direction. What could possibly go wrong?

      | |
    • Graham Curran

      Especially near cliff edges.

      | |
    • Thomas Horton

      Graham,

      That’s why I don’t like to hire the Wile E. Coyote photography company. :)

      | |
  13. Justin Haugen

    Out of pure curiosity, I’d like to see what that person was photographing with a 70-200 in the middle of the peloton.

    | |
    • Hanssie

      He was being “artistic.”

      | |
    • norman tesch

      because everyone thinks that lens is the holy grail of lenses and use it for everything. right tool for the right job

      | |
    • norman tesch

      its funny how when you go to a location the people that are the most unaware are the photographers. they will walk and stand right in front of another photographer. and people with their cell phones are more worried about blocking your image

      | |
    • Ralph Hightower

      On a few occasions at a practice round at The Masters golf tournament, I noticed a few people back away when I pointed my camera with the 100-400mm lens to a golfer. I waved them to come back to the rope “Thanks, but you’re not in my way.” Patrons are very nice at Augusta.

      | |
  14. Thomas Horton

    I fear that there are too many photographers who are self-centered in their actions. This can manifest itself in attitude: “I don’t care whether someone wants their picture taken, they are in public and I want the picture.”

    Or physically: photographers hindering rescue operations (happened to me when I was an EMT;

    Or like this story in interfering with the enjoyment (and in this case safety) of sports participants.

    In these types of incidents, the common factor was a photographer who only cared about what they wanted and showing little concern about the feelings, or even the safety, of others.

    Photographers, when going for the small picture, really need to keep in mind the bigger picture.

    Life is not always about “me” and what “I” want.

    I hope this photographer gets punished. They exhibited a disregard for the safety of others and their actions resulted not only in the more serious issue of injury, but also in the less serious (in comparison) issue of interfering with the sporting event.

    This goes far beyond “I did not mean any harm.”

    These types of stories about inconsiderate photographers really bug me.

    | |
    • Hanssie

      I fear too many people in general are self-centered. But yes, I agree. This person needs to be cited at the very least.

      | |
    • Derek Schwartz

      In this particular case, there are financial penalties too – the injured riders all have lost money for their position in the race…and the injuries incurred could have longer-term impacts if the riders lose sponsorship. I agree, this makes a case for punishing the photographer AND instating harsher rules about photography going forward.

      | |
  15. Shawn Campbell

    That was the cyclist’s fault.

    | |