Roger A. Leo, who covered skiing and snowboarding along the Eastern Seaboard and served as Executive Editor for OnTheSnow.com, jumped to his death from a bridge near his home in Princeton, Mass., early Monday morning, according to news reports in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Ironically, Leo had retired in 2005 after 34-year career at the Telegram & Gazette as a reporter, photographer, and editor.
Leo, 64, died after leading police on a three-mile pursuit. He jumped off the Quinapoxit Bridge on I-90 to a rocky embankment 47 feet below. The Telegram & Gazette reports that Leo left his vehicle and ran for about 130 feet, ignoring pleas from a State Trooper who was running after him. The trooper raced down the embankment, but Leo was dead when he got to him.
The chase reportedly followed an altercation at a home several miles from Leo's residence, according to the newspaper report. An autopsy will be conducted.
Leo, well-known and respected for his professional reporting on the ski industry for many years, also reported and photographed from points around the world including Alaska and Afghanistan. He had been embedded with the 1st Battalion 8th Cavalry Regiment in Baghdad, Iraq. Leo's frontline photographs from Iraq and Afghanistan were exhibited at the Princeton Arts Society in 2009.
A NOTE FROM ONTHESNOW.COM: We cannot begin to presume what led to the tragic apparent suicide of our long-time OnTheSnow.com colleague. We are as shocked and saddened by what happened as are those who knew him. The Roger Leo we worked with every day was a superb reporter, ultra conscious of deadlines and good journalism practices, and a very pleasant member of our team. Our prayers are with his family.