US couple in fatal Cork car accident were visiting Ireland to trace their family ancestry
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US couple in fatal Cork car accident were visiting Ireland to trace their family ancestry

A CROWDFUNDING page has been set up for a US couple who were tracing their Irish ancestry when tragedy struck in Cork this month.

James Baker, 62, was killed and his wife Deborah was injured after a three vehicle collision, including another car and an articulated truck, on the main Cork to Limerick road on September 11.

Two other American tourists were also caught up in the accident – Jack Adams, cousin of James Baker, who was injured and his wife Peggy, 58, who tragically died.

Mr Adams and Ms Baker were taken to Cork University Hospital where they were treated for non-life threatening injuries.

A pregnant driver and passenger of a second car involved escaped uninjured. The driver of the truck was treated for severe shock.

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Mr and Mrs Baker were married for 42 years and were in Ireland to trace their family ancestry.

Their family has now set up a GoFundMe page to raise the $75,000 needed to repatriate Mr Baker’s body to his native Columbia City, Indiana.

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

A statement on the campaign page says: “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 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.

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“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."

James Baker was a father of four and a grandfather of seven. His daughter told local Columbia City news outlet, WANE that her family has been left devastated in the wake of the tragic accident.

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

“I just screamed and dropped to the floor,” Ms Baker said. “It was devastating.

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

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If you would like to donate to the Help Bring Jim and Deb Baker Home Fund please click here.