I took the liberty of adding to a news story about the latest photographer killed on railroad tracks and writing it more like it could be written to really illustrate the nature of what the guy was doing. Part of this is real, part of it is not. I hope you like it.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFN) -- Friends are remembering a young photographer who was hit and killed by a train in Downtown Fresno as someone who lived life to the fullest, was a risk taker and didn't completely think things through.
“Yeah, he was kinda a hot head and a bonehead all wrapped up into one,” said a friend who did not wish to be identified. “I used to tell him not to be on railroad tracks and he’d just laugh it off and say, ‘What’s the worse that could happen?’”
Police say 25-year-old, Christopher O'Guinn was shooting photographs of a model on the railroad tracks and didn't know the train was coming until it was too late.
“The investigation is still ongoing,” Chief of Police Ray Munnerlyn said. “But it appears he kept taking pictures right up to the minute the train made impact with him and scattered his limp body along the tracks.”
A broken lens is still scattered across the rocks below the Stanislaus overpass in Downtown Fresno. This is where Christopher O'Guinn made a really bad decision and lost his life and where he hit the shutter on his camera for the last time because he was trespassing on private property.
His friend, Kayla Aguayo said, "He was truly an amazing person and photographer. Perhaps in hindsight, he wasn't the brightest guy on Earth for being on the railroad tracks, but indeed a really remarkable person.”
On Thursday, O'Guinn was shooting pictures of a model on active railroad tracks. A train was in the background of one shot, moving south, while another was headed north, directly in the path of O'Guinn, who for some ungodly reason had decided active railroad tracks was a great place to stage a photo shoot.
Lieutenant Joe Garcia said, "That engineer told the one going northbound, 'hey, look at that shit! There are some really dumb a** mutha f**kers on the tracks.' He started throttling down, actually."
Lieutenant Garcia says the northbound train also blew it’s whistle but O'Guinn was apparently so enthralled in what he was doing that didn't hear the train behind him until it was too late. He tried to jump out of the way but it clipped him and killed him instantly.
"It's definitely a hard time right now," Aguayo said, "I think it's a hard time for all of us who knew Chris because we all really loved him, in spite of him being a big dumb jackass.”
Aguayo says O'Guinn was drawn to the tracks. He was 25, still new to Fresno and his photography was just starting to take off.
"Really, just started putting his name on the map here in the valley," said Phil Perez, a photographer who also knew O'Guinn. “He poured his heart and soul into his work. Now, I guess, his blood really is on the tracks.”
Still, O'Guinn left behind memories, pictures of people he knew, his friends and the places he loved.
"Chris is a talented individual," Perez added, "he created beautiful images for everybody to see. But, of course, he won’t be creating anymore unless he’s got a camera in the Afterlife.”
O'Guinn's life was cut short but the images he captured will live forever. Left unspoken are the people whose life he touched in death. “The train crew on both trains, but especially the one that hit him, will have to live with this forever,” Chief Munnerlyn said. “So while his friends will mourn him, this crew will forever see him trying to run off the tracks knowing they were about to him him and knowing there was nothing they could do about it.
“I hope those damn pictures were worth it.” Chief Munnerlyn said, shaking his head and walking away