Head-on crash leaves one dead

Witnesses say Centennial woman’s car went into oncoming lane

Chris Michlewicz
Posted

Investigators are still trying to determine what caused a 68-year-old woman to cross into oncoming traffic on RidgeGate Parkway.

Witnesses told investigators that a Ford Focus driven by Jane Waldron Baer was traveling westbound toward Interstate 25 when it drifted into the eastbound lane on RidgeGate Parkway just east of Peoria Street around 1:30 p.m. Nov. 27.

It clipped a blue Toyota Matrix in the left rear-quarter panel, causing it to spin out, then struck a silver Chevrolet truck head on. Baer, a resident of Centennial, was pronounced dead at the scene. The occupants of the Toyota and Chevy were not injured.

It is not clear what caused the vehicle to cross the double-yellow line into the eastbound lane. A witness in one of the vehicles who is an emergency room nurse and was the first to reach Baer after the crash said she believed Baer might have suffered a medical condition before the accident, according to the official police report.

The Douglas County coroner said Baer died of blunt force trauma from injuries sustained in the crash.

Motorists who witnessed the crash were unable to say whether they saw Baer slumped in the driver's seat prior to the impact because many of them were trying to avoid being hit.

Lone Tree police shut down the two-lane road to allow an accident reconstruction team to complete measurements.

The website www.LDStoday.com, which is dedicated to news of the Mormon church, says Baer began serving as a matron in the Denver Colorado Temple in July 2009. Her husband, Mark, is president of the temple. The website provided a link to a online story about Baer's accident.

LDStoday.com says Baer served with her husband on a senior couple mission. She has also served as a ward Relief Society president, ward Young Women president, seminary teacher and temple ordinance worker. She was born in Tremonton, Utah, the website says.

A message seeking comment from Mark Baer was not immediately returned the afternoon of Dec. 2.

The police report says he called investigators shortly after the crash to find out what happened.

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