Justin Bieber offers condolences to photographer's family
Justin Bieber said Wednesday that his prayers were with the family of the 29-year-old photographer who was struck and killed Tuesday by a car while darting across a Los Angeles street after taking pictures of the singer's Ferrari, The Associated Press reports.
"While I was not present nor directly involved with this tragic accident, my thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim," Bieber said in a statement released by Island Def Jam Music Group. "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."
On Tuesday, a friend of Bieber's -- identified by TMZ.com as rapper Lil' Twist -- was behind the wheel of the Ferrari registered to Bieber when a California Highway Patrol officer pulled it over for speeding along Interstate 405, authorities said.
"This photographer evidently had been following the white Ferrari" and when it was pulled over he stopped, parked and crossed the street to snap photos, Los Angeles police Detective Charles Walton said.
The photographer stood on a low freeway railing to shoot photographs of the traffic stop over a chain-link fence, authorities said.
"The CHP officer told him numerous times that it wasn't safe for him to be there and to return to his vehicle," Walton said.
After the officer issued the traffic ticket and the Ferrari left, the photographer began to run back across the street to his car when he was struck by a Toyota Highlander, Walton said.
The name of the photographer -- who was pronounced dead at a hospital shortly after the accident late Tuesday afternoon -- was withheld by police pending notification of relatives.