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Former CBS newsman Richard Threlkeld killed in car crash

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 7:30 AM EST, Sat January 14, 2012
Richard Threlkeld, shown in 1982, worked for CBS and ABC.
Richard Threlkeld, shown in 1982, worked for CBS and ABC.
  • NEW: The cause of the crash is under investigation, the police say
  • Richard Threlkeld died following a car crash in Amagansett, New York, police say
  • Threlkeld was a veteran newsman who worked for CBS for 25 years

(CNN) -- Award-winning newsman Richard Threlkeld, whose wide-ranging career took him from war zones to presidential campaigns, was killed Friday in a car accident on New York's Long Island, authorities said. He was 74.

Threlkeld, who worked for CBS and later ABC, died after his 2008 Mini Cooper collided with a tanker truck in Amagansett, East Hampton police said in a statement.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation, the statement said. The driver of the tanker, 57-year-old Earl Fryberger Jr. of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, was uninjured, it said.

Threlkeld's career took him from the jungles of Vietnam to the desert of Iraq during the Gulf War, from courtroom trial of Patty Hearst to the execution of Gary Gilmore.

Threlkeld joined CBS News in 1966 and jumped to ABC in 1981. He returned to CBS in 1989 before retiring in 1998, according to the network.

"We liked him because he was a gentleman. We admired him because of what he could do with words," CBS Evening News' anchor Scott Pelley said during Friday's broadcast.

Pelley described Threlkeld as a "reporter's reporter, writing with speed and accuracy, delivering insight on deadline."

Threlkeld is survived by his wife, Besty Aaron, two children and two grandchildren.

Aaron worked as a correspondent for CNN and CBS.

CNN's Leigh Remizowski contributed to this report.