NM officer dies after hit by car in snowstorm

Sandoval County sheriff's Sgt. Robert Baron died Friday afternoon after being hit by a car while investigating a crash

Duty Death: Robert Baron - [Sandoval County, New Mexico]

End of Service: 12/06/2013

By Aurelio Sanchez
Albuquerque Journal, N.M.

SANDOVAL COUNTY, N.M. — Sandoval County sheriff's Sgt. Robert Baron died Friday afternoon at University Hospital, despite what Sheriff Doug Wood described as a "gallant" effort by hospital staff to save his life.

Baron, an eight year veteran, had been listed in critical but stable condition after being hit by a car as the officer was investigating a weather related crash on roads made treacherous by a snowstorm that walloped most of the state.

(Sandoval County sheriff's office image)
(Sandoval County sheriff's office image)

Baron was outside his patrol car when hit by a car on I-25 northbound near San Felipe Casino. State Police is conducting an investigation into the crash.

In a prepared statement, Wood said that it was "with the deepest regret that at 4:43 p.m. today, our brother and fellow officer Sgt. Robert Baron succumbed to his injuries."

"Robert was not only one of my deputies, he was a husband, father, brother and son as well as a member our law enforcement family and my friend," read Wood's statement, recited by county public information officer Sidney Hill.

The statement continued with a thanks to "doctors and hospital staff who worked so gallantly to save Robert's life."

Baron last month was promoted to sergeant and day shift patrol supervisor. He had previously served as a detective for the department.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Krysia, his son Colter, and the rest of his family," Wood said in the statement.

Baron had remained in a medically induced coma in the neurological intensive care unit, as officers from several agencies kept a vigil Thursday and Friday, Sandoval undersheriff Karl Wiese said.

Gutierrez said Baron was conducting a crash investigation at about 10:23 a.m. Thursday as a winter storm dumped heavy snow.

While in the roadway, another car skidded off the ice packed road and stuck Baron, Gutierrez said. Baron hit his head on the pavement.

Gutierrez said the driver of the car that hit Baron wasn't injured and has not been charged.

Copyright 2013 the Albuquerque Journal

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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