A Jefferson County deputy was killed recently in a head-on collision with a Saturn SUV. According to reports, the driver of the SUV, 83 year old Kenneth Hosch, of Golden crossed the double yellow line on Colorado 93, and hit the deputy while on his motorcycle. The deputy was driving northbound around a large curve, when the driver of the SUV tried to pass another vehicle in a no-pass zone. The deputy was thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead on the scene, despite the fact that he wore a helmet.

Hosch was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash, and sustained only minor injuries. He was transported to St Anthony’s, then to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office for questioning. “Charges are pending against Hosch and will be determined at the conclusion of the investigation,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Sgt. David Baldwin, the Jefferson County deputy who was killed, was a 27 year veteran of the force. “Dave will be remembered for his love of family, his duty to service and his dedication to this community”, Ted Mink, the Jefferson County sheriff said. Baldwin was a teacher and mentor to many members of the department serving in a variety of roles including the detention division, civil and fugitive units, the bomb squad and the patrol division. He also served as an instructor in firearms training and driving.

His family states “He liked absolutely nothing more than serving others and improving, empowering and helping every citizen or fellow officer he ever came in contact with.”

The accident calls into question several issues, such as whether the accident was caused because the driver was elderly with diminished driving skills, and whether older drivers need to be tested more frequently to ensure that they are not endangering themselves and others.

A Michigan woman who was recently found unresponsive in frigid temperatures after becoming confused on a detour to her favorite restaurant illustrates the question of whether we are adequately addressing the issues surrounding elderly drivers.

Let’s all help each other by slowing down, driving with due regard to the attendant circumstances. If you know of an elderly driver that may be putting themselves and others at risk due to poor vision, reaction times or medical conditions and should not be driving, say something to them or their relatives before a crash happens.

Sources:

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_25003692/jefferson-county-identifies-deputy-killed-27-year-veteran?IADID=Search-www.denverpost.com-www.denverpost.com

http://www.michiganautolaw.com/auto-lawyers-blog/2014/01/27/how-old-is-too-old-to-drive/

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