Karen Schmeer dies at 39

Award-winning film editor worked on Errol Morris docs

Karen Schmeer, an award-winning film editor who worked on Errol Morris documentaries including "The Fog of War," was struck and killed Jan. 29 by a getaway car speeding from a New York drugstore robbery. She was 39.

Schmeer was crossing Broadway on the Upper West Side of Manhattan when she was struck by a car driven by two suspects in the theft of over-the-counter medication from a drugstore a few blocks away, police said.

The driver of the car was arrested shortly after the crash, and Schmeer was pronounced dead at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center.

Schmeer won a best editing award last year at the Sundance Film Festival for "Sergio," about Sergio de Mello, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights killed in a 2003 explosion at U.N. headquarters in Iraq.

A native of Portland, Ore., Schmeer edited Morris' Oscar-winning documentary "The Fog of War," which profiled former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.

She worked as editor on many of Morris' other films, including "Fast, Cheap & Out of Control" (1997) and "Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter Jr." (1999), and was editor for "Sketches of Frank Gehry," the 2005 doc directed by Sydney Pollack. She was working on a film about chess master Bobby Fischer when she was killed.
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