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Paparazzo Died Trying to Get Bieber Pot Scoop

Said he saw Bieber toking while driving
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2013 3:39 AM CST
Updated Jan 2, 2013 10:49 AM CST
Paparazzo Killed Trying to Snap Bieber Car
Justin Bieber performs at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas last September.   (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – A celebrity-chasing photog died in a failed attempt to get a shot of Justin Bieber in Los Angeles yesterday, after he spied the Bieb's Ferrari at a traffic stop and crossed a freeway to take photos. Police told the man to return to his car and he was struck and killed by an oncoming vehicle as he crossed back across the street, CNN reports. Bieber wasn't in his vehicle at the time. Less than an hour before the accident, the photographer called someone connected to his photo agency and said he had spotted Bieber smoking marijuana while driving the Ferrari that day, TMZ reports.

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The person who received the call tells TMZ the photog didn't realize Bieber was no longer in the car later that day, and was probably acting "overzealous" because he anticipated a huge scoop. Bieber released a statement earlier today: "While I was not present nor directly involved with this tragic accident, my thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim. 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." Last summer, Bieber was ticketed for speeding while trying to avoid pursuing paparazzi. (Read more paparazzi stories.)

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