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Beloved Photographer Dies After Freak Accident at High School Football Game

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A Kansas woman died last week after she was accidentally hit by some high school football players.

Linda Gregory, 69, died Friday. Four days earlier, she was photographing a junior varsity game between Wichita Northwest High School and Bishop Carroll Catholic High School when players who went out of bounds struck her.

“Linda Gregory was shooting photos last night at our Freshmen and JV games and was ran into at the game! Linda hit her head on the concrete apron of the track and was taken into observation to a local hospital,” Wichita Northwest football coach Steve Martin wrote in a Facebook post.

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Writing as her condition was worsening, Martin said Gregory and her husband, Mel, “mean so much to their friends, my family and the Wichita Northwest High School Family!”

“They started as friends taking pictures of our boys but have become a staple at a Northwest Football Game and have become our family! The amount of kids these two have touched and become friends with is countless!” he wrote before asking for prayers for Linda Gregory.

After Linda Gregory died, Martin wrote to her husband on Facebook.

“Today at practice was a tough one! I wanted to let our boys that didn’t know Linda that long how much Linda and you meant to our program and my family! She will live forever in this program! We will honor her everytime we step foot on that field!” he wrote.

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On Friday night, players wore her initials on their helmets and lined up in a tribute, according to NBC.

“A moment of silence in honor of Linda Gregory and all that she has meant to both Northwest and Heights. Thank you to all for the outpouring of love and support for Linda’s husband, Mel, and the entire Northwest community,” Wichita Northwest posted on Facebook.

Mel Gregory wrote on Friday that he would be attending the game, in spite of his wife’s death that day.

“We are going even with extremely heavy hearts to honor Linda Gregory in her passion as a photographer for ‘her boys,’” he wrote on Facebook.

“As far as Linda’s passing. It was peaceful and as she wished took little time. We had a family honor ceremony in her room and she will be transported tonight to Kansas City for the necessary preparation for donation. Unfortunately, some of her organs were not capable of being harvested but they will still be much for helping others to live,” he wrote.

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“I want you to know that Linda would have been surprised and overwhelmed by the support and publicity of her tragic death. We are trying to set up a foundation to fund a scholarship for prospective photographers and will keep you posted.”

“I also want you to know that she would want you to place no blame on anybody, schools, sports, or players for her accident. I know that the players are traumatized and on her behalf, I want to show them support. Having said that I will end with what Linda would say tonight: Go Grizzlies!!!” he concluded.

Mel Gregory wrote on Facebook on Monday that it was “a time for healing for our children and family and we are certain that more than enough notice of her passing has been seen. She will be cremated in KC after her donation of her tissues and other parts and she will have her remains delivered home.

“We, as a family, are doing well but it is hard. Today we start the hard road of taking care of banking, and the extra hard part of trying to educate me on how to do online payment. Also, Social Security,” he wrote.

“A picture of things that made Linda happy or would have made her understand her life was important. On the left of this picture is flowers from the American Society of Photographers, the beloved Northwest Helmet presented to us by the team a couple of years past, and the floral arrangement from Northwest. The other photo is of the card that was signed at the Northwest and Heights game Friday night and given to me in memoriam,” he also posted on Monday.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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