NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Bob Simon, a longtime correspondent for CBS’ “60 Minutes” and a CBS News veteran of more than 45 years, was killed Wednesday night in a crash on the West Side Highway.
“60 Minutes” confirmed Simon’s death Wednesday night.
As CBS2’s Jessica Schneider reported, police said Simon, 73, was in the back seat of a Lincoln Town Car livery cab that lost control as it headed south on the highway. The driver struck a black 2003 Mercedes Benz that was stopped at a red light at 30th Street, and then struck the stanchions that separate northbound and southbound traffic on the highway, police said.
The driver of the livery cab, a 44-year-old man, was also transported to Bellevue Hospital Center with non-life threatening injuries, sources said. He suffered injuries to his legs and arms.
The driver of the Mercedes was uninjured.
Simon was extricated from the vehicle after suffering injuries to his head and torso. He was taken to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.
“60 Minutes” Executive Producer Jeffrey Fager put out a statement following Simon’s death.
“It’s a terrible loss for all of us at CBS News. It is such a tragedy made worse because we lost him in a car accident, a man who has escaped more difficult situations than almost any journalist in modern times,” Fager said in the statement. “Bob was a reporter’s reporter. He was driven by a natural curiosity that took him all over the world covering every kind of story imaginable.
“There is no one else like Bob Simon,” Fager continued. “All of us at CBS News and particularly at ‘60 Minutes’ will miss him very much.”
Speaking to CBS2’s Maurice DuBois and Kristine Johnson on the phone Wednesday night, Fager added that Simon had an insatiable drive to hunt down a story.
“He couldn’t do enough,” Fager said. “It was as if I said: ‘You know what, Bob? I have a really good story,’ and it was halfway around the world, he’d be on his way before he knew what it was about.”
CBS News’ Scott Pelley also mourned Simon in a tweet Wednesday night.
Anderson Cooper, who also does occasional stories on “60 Minutes,” was nearly in tears on CNN as he said, “I dreamed of being, and still hope to be, a quarter of the writer that Bob Simon is and has been.”
Simon had contributed regularly to “60 Minutes” since 1996. His last piece on “60 Minutes” this past weekend was on the Academy Award-nominated film “Selma.”
He also reported recently on such stories as the persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt’s political turmoil, and the situation in Fukushima, Japan, three years after it endured the triple tragedy of an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster