Hiker Richard Baird, 56, died of a broken neck when he fell at least 600 feet down a precipice while returning from a hike to Aripo in the Northern Range on Saturday. A post-mortem on his body by forensic pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov yesterday at the Forensic Science Centre, St James revealed he died from “blunt force trauma to the neck which ruptured his spinal cord.” Death was instantaneous.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Local Content Committee (PLCC) for the energy sector in a statement praised Baird as a true patriot explaining, “ through his representation of the credit union movement and as a member of the PLCC since its inception in 2004, he brought the important input of the small financial sector to the fore.”
The PLCC recalled that last Wednesday Baird spent several hours “working on a plan to strengthen and enrich our country, in these difficult times, taking the lead on one of three initiatives; one that he championed.” The committee said he “left the meeting after a productive session with his trademark smile.” Baird, a computer technician at Petrotrin, was described as thoughtful, patient, good humoured and accommodating.
Baird, a father of six, disappeared following a hike to Aripo on Saturday evening. A seasoned hiker, he had complained of cramps on the way back and was last seen sitting on a log as hikers made their way out of the dense forests. After three days of searching by Police, Fire Services, soldiers, hunters and volunteers, Baird’s body was discovered at the bottom of a precipice where he had fallen on Tuesday but it was not until Wednesday that the body was removed.
Funeral arrangements are yet to be finalised.