I got an email earlier today, and the first sentence really caught my eye.
“Hi, my name is Mikhail Higley and I am 13 and I take pictures from emergency scenes that happen in my town.”
The photograph attached to the email was a solid — in focus, well-composed, and shot from close enough to show some detail. It was also high-resolution and not a tiny cell phone photo that wouldn’t reproduce well.
Photos by Mikhail Higley
It turns out Mr. Higley isn’t after my job. He just wanted to send the paper a photo of a crash that occurred near his house. He recently found an old police scanner of his dad’s and got interested in police and fire activity.
“I like the lights and the excitement and I want to be a part time police officer and part time firefighter,” Mikhail told me in a follow up mail when I asked why he was interested in this.
Yesterday, about 1 p.m., there was a crash near 97 Scribner Road. Mikhail went out, took the photos included in this entry, and learned that an elderly woman had a medical issue while driving that caused her to crash into a tree.
I called Tyngsboro Deputy Police Chief Richard Burrows to learn more, and learned that Mikhail’s information was completely accurate. Burrows said the woman was taken to a local hospital and was not seriously injured in the crash.
I’m really not kidding when I say that I’ve seen seasoned journalists come back from accident scenes with worse photos and less accurate information. Plus Deputy Burrows said Mikhail was polite and respectful with officers at the scene of the crash.
Mikhail, awesome job, and thank you for the email. It’s great to know I have backup in Tyngsboro and those of us at The Sun look forward to seeing more of your work.
This was genuinely better reporting than I have seen from many professionals.