Quadriplegic WCCO reporter Darcy Pohland dies at 48

Darcy Pohland, one of the few quadriplegic reporters in the US, died in her sleep at the age of 48.

Pohland was found dead this morning at her home in Minneapolis by a personal care attendant. Pohland was interning at WCCO-TV in 1983 when she broke her neck diving into a swimming pool, causing paralysis from the chest down. She was hired by the station as a dispatcher in 1986, and began reporting on TV in 1994.

Co-workers are said to be grieving the loss of a beloved colleague after learning this morning that Pohland had died:

“I think it’s fair to say she was absolutely the best-loved person in this newsroom, because she always had a smile on her face,” said reporter Esme Murphy. “She always made us smile, even that last day where she wasn’t feeling well.”

One co-worker memorialized Pohland in a blog post about her passing this morning:

“Most of us forgot how remarkable Darcy was, because she was just our friend, our coworker,” wrote Jason DeRusha in his blog Friday morning. “Darcy was the only television news reporter in the country working every single day in a wheelchair. Darcy rolled through the cold, the snow, the rain, the wind. She covered the construction projects, the murders, the fires, and the inspirational.”

Pohland is survived by two brothers. Her mother Toby died last month.