Justin released a statement saying, “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.”
The incident took place near Getty Center Drive shortly before 6 p.m. Bieber’s sports car had been pulled over on the 405 Freeway by the California Highway Patrol for a traffic stop. The CHP officer directed the driver of Bieber’s car off the freeway onto Sepulveda, according to law enforcement sources. CHP officials said Bieber was not inside the car at the time.
According to TMZ, “Guerra made a call less than an hour before he died, telling someone he was on a big story — because he claimed he saw Justin smoking marijuana while driving. A source connected with the photo agency Chris Guerra did freelance work for tells TMZ . . . Chris called him at 5:16 Tuesday afternoon. Chris said, ‘Man, you won’t believe my luck. It’s pretty dead in L.A. Everybody thinks Justin and Selena are in Mexico, but they’re not.’ ”
When he saw the car leaving a hotel, he apparently didn’t realize Justin wasn’t driving. A rep for Justin told TMZ, “It’s really sad that people are trying to push a story without the facts so soon after this tragic accident. Justin was not present or involved in this incident and the focus should remain on honoring the memory of the victim” but did not address the weed accusation.
This is not the first time photographers have gone out of the way to get pictures of Justin. According to MTV, Justin was cited for speeding in July after trying to get away from a photographer. An L.A. councilman who saw the incident said at the time that, “he thinks Bieber should have lost his licence, been arrested and locked up.” Also last summer, Justin was accused of battery after an alleged shoving match with a camera man. The charges were dismissed in November.
With files from Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
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