Crowdfunding set up for Indiana couple tracing their Irish ancestry when tragedy struck in Cork

The family of the American tourists who were part of a horrific road traffic accident in County Cork on September 11 have launched a crowdfunding campaign to bring them home. Deborah Baker, who was injured, and her husband James, who lost his life, will need $72,000 to be repatriated to Columbia City, Indiana.

Four American tourists, Deborah and James (62) Baker, who had been married 42 years, and Peggy and Jack Adams (James’ cousin), were driving on the main Cork to Limerick road, close to Blarney, when tragedy struck – a three vehicle collision, including another car and an articulated truck, at the Waterloo Junction. James, sitting in the front seat, and Peggy, sitting behind him were pronounced dead at the scene.

Jack Adams and Deborah Baker were taken to Cork University Hospital where they were treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The pregnant driver and passenger of a second car also involved escaped uninjured. The driver of the truck was treated for severe shock at the scene but did not need medical treatment.

Crowdfunding plea from Indiana

A GoFundMe page set up by the Bakers' family and friends explains that the couple were on a “dream trip” to Ireland when this tragedy befell them. They go on to explain that Deborah had no travel insurance which is why she will need $75k to bring her and her husband’s body home.

The ‘Help bring Jim and Deb Baker Home Fund' describes Jim and Deb as “the most real and nicest people you will ever meet.”

A statement on the campaign page, states, “They were never extravagant and valued family and friendship above all else. We were all so excited for them to go on this trip.

“Sadly, in addition to dealing with grief and their world falling apart, the Bakers (family) have some big obstacles to overcome in the near future. Deb and Jim did not take out travel insurance and thus will have large medical bills. Deb cannot fly for six weeks due to a punctured lung so the family may look into bringing her home by ferry. There is the additional cost of preparing Jim and transporting him home for a proper funeral and burial.

“Thankfully, Jack was released but Debbie underwent surgery to repair her broken bones. Deb sustained a punctured lung, left elbow fracture, right clavicle fracture, rib fractures, and many bruises.

“We all feel so helpless at a time like this and want to help the Baker family.”

"First and foremost, pray for all of them for physical and emotional healing and strength and courage during this difficult time. I feel the next best thing we could do is assist them financially to help bring Jim and Debbie home."

Tracing his Irish roots

James Baker was a father of four and a grandfather of seven. His daughter told local Columbia City news outlet, WANE, she’s devastated.

Diana Baker explained that the couple loved genealogy, which is what drew them to Ireland, the land of their ancestors.

She said, “He wanted to go visit the cemeteries and maybe get some information on some of the ancestors we had.”

For more information or to donate to the “Help bring Jim and Deb Baker Home’ Fund” please click here.

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