University of South Dakota Student Newspaper Photographer Killed in Car Crash

Rebecca Kroeger, a sophomore at the University of South Dakota and a photographer for The Volante student newspaper, died at the start of the week in a two-car crash in Minnesota.

In a touching special editorial published yesterday — headlined “Remembering Rebecca: A Farewell to Our Photographer” — fellow Volante editors described Kroeger as “a beautiful person … a student wandering through life who happened to walk into our newsroom a year ago looking to shoot a few photos.”

In a separate column, Volante editor-in-chief Emily Niebrugge confirms the moment she informed the staff of Kroeger’s death was “the most difficult thing I have ever done in my entire life.”


According to the editorial and a news story in The Argus Leader, Kroeger was known for capturing tons of images on every assignment — steadfastly favoring pictures over words.

Volante photo editor Malachi Peterson tells the Argus Leader her last assignment was shooting the USD football game this past Saturday: “She came back with about 1,400 pictures. Every time I would send her out somewhere she would come back with hundreds — and I mean hundreds, of photos. … She would capture every moment of every event.”

A portion of the Volante editorial:

“From day one, Rebecca made it clear to everyone on staff she was not fond of reporting and preferred to capture snippets of those moments through photography. Even the slightest suggestion from another colleague that she consider getting a few student quotes to go along with her photo gallery resulted in a sassy, blank stare which sufficiently conveyed a resounding, ‘You’re kidding, right? No way, uh-uh.’ As her photo portfolio for the Volante grew larger with each passing week, it became apparent her snapshots portrayed those specific moments in a way words could not. … With every photo assignment she took, she had an awe of excitement about her which seemingly allowed her to see each story in a new light. At the end of the day, Rebecca was a consummate professional — something everyone at The Volante strives to become.”

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