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Man injured in May 8 boating accident dies

By Staff | Jul 29, 2010

A Wisconsin man critically injured in May in a Cape Coral boating crash has died.
Jason T. Baldner, 35, died Wednesday morning, said Gary Morse, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman.
Baldner, of 2110 Maplewood Drive, Onalaska, Wis., had been taken to Gundersen Lutheran Health Center in Wisconsin where he received treatment since being transferred there in May. According to the hospital’s website, Baldner had complications and became a hospice patient earlier this month.
He is survived by a wife and four daughters, Morse said.
Baldner was injured May 8 when the 37-foot boat in which he was riding hit a seawall near Cantry Canal at the end of Coral Point Drive at 7:23 p.m.
The vessel was traveling at a high rate of speed before it topped the seawall and partially landed on the land, officials have said.
Jason B. Williams, 36, of 2011 S.E. 13th St., and Eric J. Terpsman, 31, of 1041 S.E. 20th Ave., both of Cape Coral also were on board. The men were airlifted to Lee Memorial Hospital as trauma-alerts. Williams and Terpsman were later discharged, and Baldner was transferred to Gundersen.
The investigation continues into the complex case, Morse said Wednesday.
“A number of questions about the accident remain unanswered,” he said. “Evidence in the case is being looked at thoroughly.”
When asked to confirm who was driving the boat, Morse said that is one of the details that will be answered through the investigation.
Alcohol is a suspected factor in the crash.
“All test results will be forthcoming when the investigation is finished,” Morse said in an earlier interview.
No charges have been filed.
The investigation, which was initially expected to take about six weeks, was delayed because investigators had hoped to speak with Baldner about what happened in the accident.
“This is a complex legal case, and we are going to take our time and make sure all the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed properly,” he said.
Morse said earlier it would make a huge difference in the investigation as to whether Baldner survived and could affect what, if any charges are filed.
Morse would not discuss what information, if any, has been provided by Williams and Terpsman, nor why Baldner’s statement was so important.
“The fact is every piece of evidence is still part of the investigation,” he said. “You have to wait and see how all the information comes together.”
According to the hospital’s website, an account has been set up at Wells Fargo Bank for the Baldner family. To donate, designate the funds for the “Jason T. Baldner Donation Fund” by visiting any Wells Fargo Bank branch.