“Oh my god… something is wrong!”
The last words uttered by a decorated local broadcast journalist en route to the Manhattan base after a live shot on March 19th, 2015 for WABC-TV’s Eyewitness News This Morning. Her truck driver/photog got out in the middle of traffic, stopped an oncoming FDNY ambulance in moving traffic, banging the door, forcing them to take her over with another patient saying she would die. Well honestly she was basically brain dead regardless, the family pulled the life support plug on the 20th and passed away officially 8 years ago today.
According to New York Post’s Page Six her living mother told the management who attended her funeral in her then residence of Stamford, Conn. that “you made my daughter work herself to death”. Following the Page Six expose, both parties of the family and WABC-TV denied the exchange, and each party covered up one another, but let’s be honest, the management was shady and we who know the industry could trust this Page Six story.
Lisa Colagrossi was an iconic local TV reporter, who previously worked in Orlando at WKMG, and her hometown of Cleveland at WKYC. She would land her job in New York the weekend after 9/11. Her first assignment was covering the latest of what was remaining of the World Trade Center. According to a producer’s civilian Facebook around the time of her passing during the accidental plane crase in Brooklyn, 2 months to the day following 9/11, she had litteraly raced to the scene, according to that Facebook post, she forced the ENG driver to go behind (like tailgating) an FDNY fire truck to one of the crossings, and allegedly after that, the crossings were closed down to everyone. Producers back in Manhattan were clueless of how one their own reporters was able to get to the scene (let alone how to spell out out her name to the Chyron, hence why I boldfaced her last name for record.)
Lori Stokes said she out hustled her native New York counterparts, and within her second month she did that.
If situations were not as stressful, it would be highly likely Colagrossi would still be at the station at 57 years old, she would’ve retired at WABC-TV most likely if she was allowed more options (such as a permeant anchor role)
She made an impact to local reporting that not another soul could replicate. This is why your humble amateur reporter dedicates her life for every March 21st until I disappear.