Photojournalist photographing Justin Bieber's car run over by another vehicle

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

A photographer has died after being run over by a car in Los Angeles, California, United States. The man, who was attempting to photograph the vehicle of Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber, has not been formally identified by police but was named as Chris Guerra by local media.

At approximately 17:45 PST Tuesday the driver of Bieber's white Ferrari car was pulled over by police for a speeding offence on Interstate 405, near to Getty Center Drive. Reports indicate Guerra — a freelance photojournalist — had been pursuing this vehicle throughout the day, based on the incorrect assumption that Bieber was in the vehicle when it was actually rapper Lil Twist driving the car with another passenger onboard. Entertainment news website TMZ understands the photographer stopped his vehicle on the other side of Sepulveda Boulevard and attempted to take pictures of the police stop before crossing the road and continuing, prompting the California Highway Patrol police officer conducting the traffic stop to order him back across, twice. When he attempted to walk back across, he was struck by an oncoming vehicle.

The photographer was transported to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where he subsequently died. He was reportedly aged in his 20s. In a statement, Bieber said "[w]hile I was not present nor directly involved with this tragic accident, my thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim." According to police, the driver of the vehicle that hit the photographer is unlikely to face criminal charges.

The incident has prompted Bieber to call for changes to laws surrounding the way in which members of the press work. "Hopefully this tragedy will finally inspire meaningful legislation and whatever other necessary steps to protect the lives and safety of celebrities, police officers, innocent public bystanders, and the photographers themselves", he said.