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Obituaries

Veteran Hong Kong photographer killed in tragic East Timor accident

Daniel Groshong, a well known photojournalist and eco-tourism pioneer was killed when tree fell on his car in a remote part of East Timor

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 August, 2017, 11:33pm
UPDATED : Monday, 14 August, 2017, 11:47pm

A Hong Kong photographer and eco-tourism pioneer has been killed in a freak accident in East ­Timor.

Long-time city resident, Daniel Groshong, and two other people died when their 4x4 vehicle was crushed by a falling tree in a remote and mountainous area of the tiny Southeast Asian country, which became the first new sovereign state of the 21st century in May 2002.

Father-of-two, Groshong, 54, a long-time resident of Sai Kung, was on his way from the country’s capital, Dili, to the remote village of Laclubar in the heart of Timor’s coffee growing region to carry out work for the Hong Kong-registered Hummingfish Foundation, which he founded to help promote and preserve natural environments and promote sustainable community-based tourism.

His wife, Menzi Dacuycuy Groshong and two children, Agos Patrick, 16, and Anna May, 13, have travelled to East Timor where their father’s funeral will be held on Wednesday.

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Fellow photographer, Hong Kong-based Graham Uden, said he was “shattered” by the death of his friend on Saturday, saying the circumstances of his death were “deeply tragic and ironic” given that he had worked in some of the most dangerous places in the world and made it through covering Timor’s war of independence unscathed.

He fell in love with East Timor and was working to help the country and its people. We are all devastated by what has happened,” said Uden, who is also travelling to Dili for the funeral.

A native of Portland, Oregon in the United States, Groshong worked as a professional photographer since 1986, covering some of the biggest news stories from Asia to Africa and Latin America. His photographs have appeared in hundreds of magazines around the world, from Paris Match to Penthouse, his work has also appeared in the South China Morning Post.

A graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, his professional career as a photographer began with the environmental group Greenpeace.

He then went on to cover the 1992 Winter Olympics in France, the World Expo and Summer Olympics in Spain, the O.J. Simpson trial, the Super Bowl, and three Academy Awards ceremonies. He also spent six months photographing one of the most notorious street gangs in East Los Angeles.

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A veteran photojournalist of seven armed conflicts around the world, Groshong has also photographed crises in Somalia, Chiapas, Jakarta, the referendum for independence in East Timor, Kashmir, the murderous Abu Sayyaf movement in the southern Philippines and the US-led war in Afghanistan.