Europe
Scottish voters reject independence from Britain

Extremes in photo assignments

Media IndustryOpen-Wheel RacingAmusement and Theme ParksWalt DisneyAuto RacingRichard Petty

Separated by time and the sections of the newspaper or web, it's hard for readers to tell what assignments we cover on a single day.

Last Friday was an example of the extremes we sometimes experience while covering the news.

My morning began at the Walt Disney World Speedway. The same place that hosts the Richard Petty Driving Experience was beginning a new venture, the Exotic Driving Experience.

They were having a media preview day to show off their brand-new inventory of super-cars -- worth more than a million dollars -- that customers can take for a spin around the modified track.

Drivers can take their pick form Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, or Audi super-cars. Seeing these shiny, sleek cars, all neatly parked in a row, reminded me of my grandparents and the die-cast Ferrari and Lamborghini models they would bring my brother and I from their trips to Europe when I was a kid.

I was lucky on the draw, and got to take out a Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera (worth $260,000+). The instructor coached me to faster speeds on each of the six laps around the track.

Driving such a powerful and responsive vehicle was an adrenaline-and-grin inducing experience. This was topped when I took a ride to video Christian Fittipaldi (of Formula One, Champ Car, and NASCAR fame) show what he can do with a Ferrari 458 Italia (worth $280,500+) on the course.

After completing my assignment, I hopped in my little car to drive across town to my next assignment.

There I took photographs and video of Timothy Stewart’s family, during a very emotional press conference. His mother, holding a photo of Timothy, his wife, cousin, and aunt all asked for help in finding out any information on the young man's murder.

"I'm appealing and begging someone to please come forward," Stewart's mother, Lucile King said. "Tim was my youngest son, he was 27, and he didn't deserve to die like that."

A few months before his death, Timothy's wife became pregnant, and he decided that with his young family growing it was time for them to own a reliable car.

In October they bought a 2010 Dodge Charger, and Timothy put custom rims on the car. Soon, he told his mom that the rims were attracting too much attention, the wrong kind of attention. He would get rid of them. But first he wanted to celebrate his cousin's birthday in style.

Something happened that night. The family speculates that he was being chased, and was possibly the victim of a carjacking. He was found shot in his crashed Charger at the intersection of Orange Avenue and Gore Street.

Timothy's wife, Sheleatric Stewart, went into premature labor, five weeks early.

"Tim was my husband, he was my best friend," she said. "We were expecting our first son, and we were both excited about it. And it's just wrong that he never came home."

One-week-old Timothy Stewart Jr. will never know his father, all because someone probably wanted to take his car.

rramirez@tribune.com Follow Riacrdo Ramirez Buxeda on Twitter @rramirezb. Like us on Facebook: Orlando Sentinel Photography.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Comments
Loading