By Ted Bell and Ralph Montano Sacramento Bee Staff Writers A well-known and accomplished Sacramento television news photographer died Sunday at UC Davis Medical Center from an injury he sustained last week while covering a story. Dick Terry, 52, was working for Channel 10 (KXTV) last Tuesday when he tripped over a fence and impaled his head on a fiberglass stake. The wound caused hemorrhaging in the brain that had kept him hospitalized since the accident. Terry had been a fixture at Channel 10 in Sacramento for 22 years and had captured some of Northern California's most historic moments during that time, including views of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. "This has just devastated the newsroom," KXTV reporter Jonathan Mumm said. "It's just such a freaky thing, it's hard to comprehend how it happened."
The accident occurred while Terry and Mumm were in Orangevale doing a story on goats that clear brush near a fire station. Terry was going back to the sound truck to prepare for a live shot when he tripped over a temporary fence and fell, Mumm said. Although wounded, Terry finished shooting the story before going to a hospital, Mumm said. Initially, Terry and those attending to him did not realize the extent of the injury, Mumm said. The stake had entered at the corner of his right eye, but the eye still functioned. It was only when they scanned his brain that they realized the extent of the injury. "We kept thinking he was going to be all right," Mumm said. As Terry's condition worsened, co-workers flocked to the hospital and some stayed through the night. Terry is not the first KXTV news photographer to die from a strange incident. Two years ago this month, Stephen Baxter, 37, died while on assignment in Seattle after he went into an anaphylactic shock from an allergic reaction to something he ate or drank. Terry was born in Evanston, Ill., and reared in nearby Glenview, Ill. He graduated from Illinois State University in 1971 and began his career in photojournalism as a studio cameraman for CBS affiliate WCRA in Champaign, Ill. He later would work as a field cameraman for other CBS stations in Peoria, Ill., and Columbus, Ohio, before coming to Sacramento's KXTV in September 1978. "He loved the news," his wife, Bonnie, said last week. "As much as he hated doing tragic stories, he always felt he could show a personal side and concern for the families involved." Terry was on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge returning to Sacramento after shooting some pre-World Series game footage when the Oct. 17, 1989, Loma Prieta earthquake struck. Getting out of his car and climbing onto the outside of the bridge, he took pictures of San Francisco during the first minutes of the temblor including the loss of a span of the bridge on which he was perched. Terry also shot several documentaries, most notably in China and Southeast Asia. His friend and colleagues said Terry loved the outdoors, taking every opportunity to hike, camp, fish and sail. "He was a salt-of-the-earth kind of person," Channel 10 general manager Russel Postell said. But, said Mumm, that passion and all of his professional prowess was subordinate to his love for his family. "Wherever we were, he would call Bonnie and he would always be telling her how much he loved her and the kids and how he missed them," Mumm said. In addition to his wife of 27 years, survivors include his children, Patricia, 22, Richard 19, and Nicholas, 16, all of Auburn. Memorial services are pending. You can send cards or letters to Dick's wife, Bonnie, via the newsroom. Bonnie Terry c/o News Director Ron Comings KXTV 400 Broadway SC 95818 Shari Kaye KXTV Human Resources (916)321-3232 For more info contact, Cyndy Green KOVR photographer FEM PJ@aol.com