DENNIS PORT – A 26-year-old Harwich man was pronounced dead at the scene of a shocking single vehicle crash this afternoon, sources say.
The crash happened on Route 28 in front of the Rite Aid Pharmacy shortly before 5:00PM.
Bystanders looked on in shock as first responders did their best to cover the man laid out on the sidewalk next to the truck. It was a bloody scene.
The Ford pickup truck had reportedly side-swiped a utility pole prior to slamming into the Rite Aid sign.
A passenger, the only other person in the vehicle, was also banged up, but was conscious and able to speak with first responders on the way to CCH.
UPDATE – Official Dennis Police press statement:
At approximately 4:43pm today the Dennis Police Department responded to 9-1-1 calls reporting a one (1) vehicle crash at 711 Route 28 (Rite Aid Pharmacy), Dennis Port.
When officer’s arrived at the scene they discovered that a 2001 Ford truck had left the south side of Route 28, struck a utility pole and then struck the Rite Aid store sign. Officers also discovered the driver of the vehicle, a 26 year old male from Harwich, had been partially ejected from the driver’s side area of the vehicle. The vehicle driver was deceased at the scene. The vehicle passenger, a 36 year old male from Chatham, was transported to Cape Cod Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
An initial investigation revealed that the vehicle was traveling east on Route 28, left the south side of the roadway, struck the utility pole then struck the store sign, where it then came to rest.
The crash is being investigated by Officer Sean Martin of the Dennis Police Department, members of the Cape Cod Regional Law Enforcement Council’s Accident Reconstruction Unit, and a Criminal Investigations Officer from the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office.
NOTE REGARDING READER PHOTOS: HN began receiving multiple images of the crash scene just minutes after it happened. Some photos were too graphic to publish here… but remain valuable and will be filed just in case investigators may need them… they also illustrate to the degree unsuspecting onlookers were subjected to traumatizing images. (The photo in the upper right is exceptional in my opinion, because it’s not graphic. It shows something really bad just happened, without having to actually show it. Good job HN reader!)
Citizen and professional photojournalists are a valued part of our community, as scenes like this need to be documented during all phases. It’s okay to photograph the entire scene from wherever one has the right of access in public… and it’s also usually okay in private in most cases where the public has the right of access, until told not to do so by the person in charge of the private property (but usually people will allow you photograph on or from private property when polite about it, and with their permission…). HN will edit reader images appropriately upon publishing them. But photos of crime and accident scenes are of value to the justice system as well…. and in some cases they may be useful to the victim’s legal team, ect. You have a right to document these scenes as long as you do not interfere with the scene. Basically, if you can legally see it, you can document it.
The Napalm Girl (below) is a prime example of why photojournalism is extremely important. The Pulitzer Prize-winning “Napalm Girl” photo was taken by Nick Ut. Although most modern publications do not find it necessary to publish graphic content these days, this photo changed public sentiment regarding the Vietnam War, causing pressure to end the war, saving countless lives…
One never knows what good a responsibly published photo will do. Sometimes when part of you says “turn away,” that is precisely the time to document… HN has sold countless images worldwide for various reasons; I leave it up to each responsible news agency to make their own decisions regarding what to edit in and out. HN has also voluntarily furnished photos and video to the justice system, and they have proved useful all the way up to our Superior Court.
The above cell phone images were sent in by several HN readers who did an excellent job capturing the scene. They did not want their full names mentioned with photo credit in this case.
Cell phones can be powerful photojournalism tools, as the best camera is always the one that is on your person at the time of the scene…
Basic Cell Phone Photojournalism Tips:
– Turn cell phone sideways to capture a landscape style image.
– Where possible, “zoom” with your feet… (images come out better when one can walk up close to a scene, rather than relying on the camera’s zoom feature…)
– Take multiple wide, medium, and close up (or “tight”) stills of the entire scene. Remember, you are trying to capture the entire story.
– Be steady. Cell phones are powerful tools, but one must have a steady hand. Use the scene to help stabilize your shot. A car fender or sign post can be used to help steady your shot. HN uses multiple powerful professional-grade cameras, but I still find the need to occasionally “hug” a sign post while shooting, especially after having too much coffee 😉
– In low light situations, time your shots with the headlights of passing motor vehicles…
– Feel free to send all photos to HN, and if possible, I will give you suggestions as the scene unfolds. Photos may be sent in a private message on the HN Facebook page (don’t forget to “like” and follow HN on Facebook if you haven’t already) … or to HN’s email at email@example.com … or as a text message to 508-280-7374. If your photos are worth money (as they may be in some cases), I’ll let you know…
– Rent and watch the movie “Nightcrawler” with Jake Gyllenhaal… It’s a bit sensationalized, but in some scenes it realistically shows some of the difficulties and challenges new photojournalists encounter in the field. But the money for footage depicted in the movie is not realistic and financial stability doesn’t come that easy…. if you want to try this work, don’t quit your day job. Photojournalism is not a field where one makes a lot of money (at least not in the first years…). It’s long hours and hard work. Also, do not manipulate scenes… as happened in the movie where the lead character moved a body to get a better angle. Aside from being sensationalized and ridiculous at times, it’s a good movie, showing a thin, almost starved Jake Gyllenhaal, which is accurate in that new photojournalists/news “stringers” need to be hungry like wild Coyotes in order to survive in what is, and always has been, a very competitive, and often risky field, where there are no guarantees…
… with most emergency scene TV news stringers knowing full well there are far worse things that can happen than not getting paid.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
HN NOTE: Please keep today’s victim and his family in your thoughts and prayers. Personally, when I’m not snapping photos at a scene, I’m using my time there as an opportunity to be near while praying for the victims…