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|| News Item: Posted 2004-03-03

Tragedy in Salt Lake City
By Trent Nelson, Salt Lake Tribune

There was a stunned silence in Utah newsrooms Tuesday when the word spread that three Deseret Morning News employees had been injured in a freak accident. The shock hit us all hard.

Photo Editor Chuck Wing, Photographer Keith Johnson, and Web Programmer Gary McKellar (who was also a DMN photographer for 15 years) were walking to a coffee shop when an SUV went out of control, its gas pedal apparently stuck to the floor. Wing and McKellar were hit and pinned against a building, their legs severely injured. Johnson helped get the driver out of the jeep and yanked it into reverse. Gas pedal still jammed, the jeep took off in reverse. Johnson was thrown from the vehicle and run over.

Wing and McKellar were taken to LDS Hospital in critical condition, and as I write this things are still serious. Wing's left leg was amputated above the knee. McKellar has undergone surgery, and they are attempting to save his leg. Johnson has been released from the hospital with a broken ankle.

I could take a lot of space up by listing the accomplishments of these three photographers. Let's just say these are three extremely talented people who have made a huge impact in Utah photojournalism as peers, mentors, and flat-out amazing shooters.

As word of the accident spread, the Deseret Morning News received calls from friends of Wing- talented photo editors of national stature- who offered to fly into town and do his job for free until things calmed down. Other calls came in from other Utah papers- the competition- offering to help the News out with photos as they dealt with the tragedy.

A trust for these guys and their families has been set up and contributions can be made at any Key Bank location. To find a branch near you, use this link:

Mail can be addressed to any of the three at this address:

c/o Deseret Morning News
30 East 100 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84110

(Trent Nelson is the chief photographer of the Salt lake Tribune and frequent contributor to the Sports Shooter Newsletter.)

Related Links:
Trent Nelson's member page

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