In a packed courtroom on Friday, Aug. 29, Kenneth Hosch, 83, of Golden, was sentenced to six years in community corrections for the death of sergeant David Baldwin after a devastating impact on Highway 93 earlier this year.
Family and friends of Baldwin included many officers from the sheriff's office as well as from neighboring police departments such as Lakewood and Arvada.
Attorney's at the Jeffco District Attorney's Office requested for a six-year sentence to be carried out in the department of corrections but district court judge Margie Enquist placed Hosch in community corrections in order for him to continue sharing his story while discussing safe senior driving. According to Hosch's attorney Greg Garland, this is what Hosch has been doing since the tragic accident which killed Baldwin on January 26.
Hosch has maintained that he does not know what happened that morning while he was driving to church but stated his age was a factor.
“There are so many little warning signs that things are not as smooth as they used to be — but we ignore them,” Hosch said while addressing the judge. “I should have sought out more information to make a rational evaluation of my own skills and abilities,” he said. “I can only hope and pray that they (Baldwin's family) will forgive me and that is all I can ask for at this time.”
Among the officer's present during the sentencing was Jeffco Sheriff Ted Mink, who spoke about Baldwin's passion for road safety and his dedication to his work that was “unmatched” and irreplaceable.
“His passion was not without purpose,” Mink said. “It was always about safety of the community."
Baldwin's brother, Bob Baldwin, echoed similar sentiments about his sibling.
“Dave epitomized the giving of oneself for his brothers,” Baldwin said. “He always committed himself 100 percent to the people around him.”
On Jan. 26, at 10:05 a.m., Baldwin was traveling in the left northbound lane on his Harley-Davidson patrol motorcycle, entering a sweeping curve. According to police officials, a 2004 Saturn Vue SUV driven by Hosch was traveling southbound through the curve when it crossed a double-yellow line, traveling into the northbound lanes and passing at least one vehicle. The Saturn collided head-on with the Harley-Davidson.
Hosch is alleged to have failed to return to his lane and continued driving southbound on the wrong side of the road for approximately 1,500 feet, the district attorney's office reported. Witnesses of the crash estimate that Hosch was traveling 70 to 79 mph just before the collision with Sgt. Baldwin, according to court records.
Investigators from the Jeffco Sheriff's Office reported that Hosch was going 79 mph, which is 24 miles over the posted speed limit. The investitators added that if Hosch had been going the correct speed at 55 mph, both he and Baldwin would have had enough time to react and avoid the collision.