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I think it's entirely dependent on the situation.  In this particular instance, although I can accept that the photographer may not have been able to pull the man to safety, I have to wonder why he just happened to have his camera out and be clicking away at that fateful moment.  And saying that he was trying to use the flash to alert the train driver seems like a hastily concocted story to cover his butt.  Even if the driver saw the flashes and somehow correctly interpreted it to mean, "Hey, someone is stuck on the track in front of you!", what exactly could he have done?  I seriously doubt the train had room to stop before killing the man anyway.

It took me a long time to come to terms with nature stories where human intervention could clearly save the life of a rare or endangered animal, but eventually I realized that people wouldn't always be able to step in and save the day all the time.  If circumstances change to the point where a species can no longer survive on their own, then we have to learn to step back and let it happen.

But I agree that one can definitely question the necessity for this particular photograph.  Accidents happen every day, and there is no need to sensationalize them in my mind.  But then again, I'm not in charge of a publication's sales department, so I might think about it a little differently than someone who is.
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