I've been sitting on these images for awhile.
On Halloween, three girls trick-or-treating crossed the street and were hit by a car going over the speed limit. The car carried the children's bodies down the road upon impact and never stopped. Neighbors chased the car but it kept going. The three girls all died at the scene of the hit-and-run.
I was sent to cover the site of the incident the next day as family and friends created a roadside memorial. It was really hard for me and very emotional, especially being an outsider. At first, I tip toed around feeling like a burden or like I wasn't supposed to be there. People were there because they lost someone that they loved and I was just some dude with a camera. Or at least that's how I felt. But, I wasn't just some dude, I was someone who cared and was there to do my best to share their story and get other people to care.
The following pictures were the hard ones to take. Not the overall wide shots of the vigil or details of the flowers and balloons, but the ones that required talking to people, being compassionate and comforting, but most of all, being a human and not a news vulture.
What we do as photojournalists is special. We get to be a part of people lives at both its best and its worst. But the stories are theirs, not ours.