Longtime CBS correspondent Bob Simon was killed in a car accident Feb. 11. Simon, 73, had a news career spanning 50 years. He covered both the Vietnam and Gulf Wars and earned countless awards for his work.
Simon was traveling in the rear seat of a Lincoln Town Car when it sideswiped a Mercedes-Benz at a red light, then accelerated and hit a stanchion head-on. Investigators believe the driver, Reshad Abdul Fehadi, mistakenly pressed the gas pedal instead of the break after the initial collision with the Mercedes.
There were no skid marks, and the driver of the Mercedes, Zachary Miller, reported that the Town Car took off like a shot before hitting the metal barrier. Simon, who was not wearing a seat belt, suffered a broken neck as well as injuries to his head and stomach.
The car crumpled under the impact, and rescuers had to pry open the roof in order to remove Simon from the vehicle. He was unresponsive and went into cardiac arrest on the way to Roosevelt Hospital. He was pronounced dead at 7:20 p.m. Fehadi’s arms and legs were broken, and he was treated on scene for a possible heart attack.
It is currently unknown whether he actually suffered a heart attack, and if so, whether the attack began before or after the accident. Fehadi is an immigrant from Afghanistan who lived in a homeless shelter on Wards Island. He began working as a driver for Skyline Credit Ride in October 2014. Fehadi had a probationary license from the Taxi and Limousine Commission with nine suspensions on it, all of which had been cleared at the time of the crash. His license has been suspended pending an investigation into this accident.
Simon joined CBS in 1967 as a foreign correspondent. He covered the Vietnam War and was on one of the last helicopters out of Saigon in 1975. In 1991, Simon covered the Gulf War, where he was captured by Iraqi forces along with other members of a CBS news crew.
Simon survived 40 days in prison, enduring interrogation and beatings with canes. He joined “60 Minutes” in 1996. Jeff Fager, the executive producer for the show, commented on how much Simon will be missed by his colleagues, noting the irony of the situation in which a journalist who had survived so many dangerous situations had been killed in a relatively mundane auto accident.
Simon was working on a segment about Ebola with his daughter Tanya, who works on “60 Minutes” as a producer. It was scheduled to air on Feb. 15. On the evening of Simon’s death, CBS anchor Scott Pelley went on air to report the accident as well as deliver a brief tribute to Simon’s life and long career with the network.
“We have some sad news from within our CBS News family,” Pelley said during the broadcast. “Our ‘60 Minutes’ colleague Bob Simon was killed this evening. Tonight, our thoughts are with Tanya and Bob’s family, and his many, many friends.” Learn more at: www.zanerhardenlaw.com.