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Healdsburg High teen critical after cycling accident

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 | Posted by

Healdsburg High school student Dalton Baker is in critical condition at Stanford Hospital after losing part of his liver from internal injuries he suffered in a freak cycling accident late Friday in Healdsburg.

Dalton Baker with his mother, Vickie. Dalton was injured on Friday in a freak cycling accident and is in critical condition at Stanford Hospital. (Photo courtesy of Tony Burke)

Baker was riding his bicycle to the Healdsburg High School football game Friday when he hit a cable strung across the parking lot of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on University Avenue. According to Baker’s uncle Tony Burke, the 17-year-old didn’t know the cable was there and “ran into it full on.”

“It had recently been put up,” Burke added. “He just didn’t see it.”

Burke said his nephew was able to get up and walk back to his home nearby,  but his parents took him to Healdsburg Hospital by his parents, Vickie and Todd Baker.

“As soon as they saw him there he was immediately taken by ambulance to Memorial (Hospital in Santa Rosa),” said Burke who added his nephew lost a lot of blood due to severe internal injuries. “They almost lost him on the table.”

The next morning Baker was transferred by helicopter to Stanford where he lost part of his liver, according to Burke.

Baker is the grandson of Donna and Ed Seghesio and spent a lot of time with them when he was growing up, according to Burke.

“He was practically raised at the winery,” he said. “They are very, very close.”

Baker’s parents are Todd, a lead maintenance worker at Asti Winery, and Burke’s sister Vickie, who works for the City of Windsor. They are with their son at Stanford. Burke describes his nephew as an excellent student who is well liked and is a whiz with electronics and computers.

“He’s just a great kid,” Burke said. “It’s crazy how this happened. We’re just waiting and hoping right now. Waiting and hoping.”


EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was edited to reflect a correction. It was reported earlier that Dalton Baker lost a kidney which was incorrect. We apologize for the error.

  • Mary Jo Winter

    Such a freakish accident. Why weren’t there warning flags of some kind on the cable? This is terrible in so many ways. My heart goes out to Dalton and his family.

  • Pat B

    i suggest everybody who reads this send up some prayers

  • Phyllis

    this is so so sad. I hope he recovers better than expected. my heart goes out to the family

  • Dave

    The law says they have to have the entrance posted; this includes a sign/or reflectors on the cable.
    I’d say the church is already checking their insurance.

    • http://Facebook BradPipal

      This is why we have a D.A. in Sonoma County. And a Sonoma County Grand Jury.

      This may have been a Cal-Osha-Fed Osha, work place violation of involuntary manslaughter to fail prevent someone, from being cut in two.
      It happens upon barges and anchors and/or spuds. Tradesmen lose limbs or more.
      God BLess, the injured rider.
      As a Captain I was crushed during inclement weather and 35 knot winds, San Pablo Bay, pier of Mc’ Nears Quarry area. Twenty three barges, no room…
      I lost twelve units of blood. And my lower spine and intestines required about 7 hours to cauterize and suture. I suffer since then am now unable to raise my arms from ribs.

  • T

    The same thing happened to me when i was maybe 8 years old. Still to this day, one of the most painful things to happen to me.

    It was the same situation where a cable was put in without any sort of warning or marker. I road my bike in the same place at least 100 times before I was blindsided by the cable.

  • http://Facebook BradPipal

    Why wasn’t ( 3 “) white plastic pipe sprayed orange glow florescent paint missing and reflectors hanging…Call the best personal injury lawyer in S.F….
    Sorry, for the suffering and injuries to your son.

    • http://Facebook BradPipal

      I am very sorry, for the suffering and injuries to your son.
      Missing from the cable was, ( 3 “) white plastic pipe, sprayed orange glow florescent paint and reflectors hanging…Call the best personal injury lawyer in S.F….

      Being cut in two was my greatest fear working upon a (1 1/2″) wire rope upon, Kaiser’s Manitowoc 4500 drag line at Windsor Kaiser Sand and Gravel, “Middle Reach Of The Russian River.”

  • Kathy D.

    Very sad! My thoughts and prayers for Dalton and his family.

  • Susan

    Ahhhhh, such a terrible thing. As a bike rider, I HATE cables strung across service roads, etc. Huge hazard, especially at dusk or night.
    It takes a load of flagging and reflectors to even see a cable when you are riding. I wish cables would be prohibited. It’s more expensive, but those posts (which prevent cars, but not bikes) can be installed and pulled up/away when they want full access. Just saying.

  • Dan Quinn

    Any parent that lets there child ride a bicycle on a public street needs to have their kid taken away. Cycling on Sonoma country roads is the most dangerous in the nation in the past 3 months.

    Bad Parenting. Sue the cycling coalition for promoting a dangerous activity which they cover up the truth

    • Laura Schulze

      You are a bad person. And by the way the cable was in a parking lot not a public street.

    • Randy

      The cable is on private church property, not a public street.

      Otherwise pretty dumb comments. Have a little compassion will ya.

    • Amy

      You need to stop and think. Riding a bike is a great way for a teenage to develop some independence

  • Don Smith

    Not funny….

  • laurie

    you get a lawyer so that medical bills are paid and in some way this poor child can receive some monetary assistance as his body will never be the same..that’s why business’s have insurance …churches included….so if we do make a negligent mistake we can compensate the person in some way. duh brads mother!!! I’m sure the church has already realized what they have caused or whoever hung the cable and will only be so happy as to have there insurance compensate to the max possible..

    • http://Facebook BradPipal

      Laurie, we should own the church and every assets they have bar you.

  • Lisa

    Many many prayers sending your way….

  • Mary

    I am so sorry that this tragedy occurred, my prayers to the family!
    Of course everyone is screaming get a lawyer…that is all we need…more lawsuits!! Why oh why is it always SUE SUE SUE?? Sometimes there are accidents…pure and simple accidents.

    • Deb McDonnell

      Couldn’t agree more Mary. The US is the most litigious society in the world. Someone has an accident and it become someone else’s fault. Personal responsibility is a thing of the past.

  • Chris from Santa Rosa

    Sending up my best hopes for a quick recovery.

  • Barb

    Been there with teenage son. He almost didn’t make it… my prayers and thoughts go out to you!

  • Former FF resident

    Yep, sue the church…. that will help at you at the pearly gates (If you believe they exist).

  • P

    Dan Q you must not have children. What an insincere and idiotic comment at such a heart wrenching time in his families lives!!! We live in a small town where you can walk outside at night, leave your doors unlocked and yes, ride your bike a couple of blocks to join the rest of the community at a Friday night football game! Your apology to the family would be greatly appreciated! Um, or keep your insensitive comments to yourself jackass!

  • Randy

    My heartfelt prayers to Dalton & his family. This is a FREAK accident.

    You posters screaming for a lawsuit need to get a clue and a map. The church is located on a hill above Univ. Avenue. There is a steep private lane leading to the church property, nothing else is up there. Obviously the cable was up because the church was closed. I agree that there should have been reflectors/flags on the cable but if Dalton took a short cut thru church property to Univ. Avenue he probably would not have seen reflectors or flags if it was dark out. Thank God he made it back home.

    Let’s concentrate on praying for his speedy and full recovery!!!

  • Mary

    I am so sorry my thoughts and prayers are with you!!

  • Travis

    Sad event. If the Google Earth map was correct – it looks like a well worn path from the edge of the church parking lot that has obviously used for a long time by people/bikes taking a short cut.

    If the church was having problems – they could have posted signs, etc. If they suddenly strung up a cable with no visible markings to stop people form cutting across – they were incredibly reckless and shortsided… and not very Christian.

    My best wishes for the young man’s recovery.

  • Laura Schulze

    I will be praying for you Dalton.

  • mark

    Many prayers to the family and this young man. It is hard to imagine going on a bike ride being so dangerous these days. Also prayers to all the medical providers who helped in this case. Excellence and precision on the fly is expected.

  • Makenna baker

    Hey everyone, I’m Dalton’s sister, Makenna. I just war to clarify a few things. Firstly that Dalt didn’t lose a kIdney, and he won’t be losing one, he severed his liver and a third of it was removed which I consider bad enough. Secondly it wasn’t the churches fault at all, the chain only stood a foot off the ground. It was just a freak accident. He slammed on his breaks and fell right on the chain. He is amazingly strong and is healing very fast. I appreciate all the prayers and love being sent to my little bro. But he is doing fantastic and is on the long road to recovery.

    • Elizabeth Cosin

      Thanks for clarifying the information, Makenna. I appreciate it.

      • Makenna baker

        Of course!
        And I truly appreciate all the warm wishes and preyers being sent my families way. It has been a tough time on us all and the support we have received has been amazing. Thank you all do much.

  • Peggy

    Daulton is a strong young man. Lets everyone get behind Daulton and pray for a speedy recovery.

  • miko carson

    :( horrible. prayers for a speedy recovery and healing prayers to him and family. there should have been some sort of neon orange flag hanging from the cable or cones just because it is new and ppl would of course not see that. :( sincere thoughts go out to Todd and his wife. Hang in there!

  • miko carson

    hang in there makenna!

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