Guler Ugur-Yaacobi
44 years old

For the first few years of her life, Guler Ugur-Yaacobi felt like an outsider. The oldest of eight children, she was born in Turkey in 1970 to Syrian parents who moved the family to Germany when she was four years old. “We lived in a totally ghetto community,” she told The Jewish Standard in a 2012 interview. “I always felt like an outsider in Germany.”

At 14, she refused to submit to a marriage arranged by her family, which led to her to live with a German foster family. She discovered photography and went on to study under photographer Jurgen Wassmuth. He connected her with the Parsons School of Design in New York, where she traveled to study in 1989.

“Everything good in my life that has happened to me has been because of photography,” she told The Standard. As a professional photographer, Guler has documented stories ranging from the Crown Heights riots of 2001 to the faces of children in Peru.

She also photographed events, such as weddings and graduations. In 2012, she said, “When I say that I do events, often people look down on me. It’s like they’re thinking ‘poor you.’ But I personally feel privileged. I feel like I can be a part of what’s going on. I get very emotional about it.”

This collision happened on December 31, 2014 near West 113 Street and Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan. See details in the Mean Streets Tracker.

Mean Streets 2014: Who We Lost, How They Lived

Throughout 2014, WNYC tracked the 265 men, women and children killed in traffic crashes in New York City. In addition to reporting the circumstances of their deaths, we looked at who they were in life: mothers, fathers, grandparents, students, recent immigrants and native New Yorkers. To read some of their stories, click on a photograph.