In the early morning hours of Nov. 12, Eagle Mountain resident and Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy Joel Baker was killed in a car accident on his way to work.
According to a press release from the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Baker leaves behind his wife Valerie and their young son.
Baker is remembered by his colleagues at the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office as someone who was always looking for an opportunity to help. According to a fundraiser organized by his colleagues, Baker was always thoughtful of others.
“Joel would always ask, ‘Are you good, do you need anything?’” they wrote on the fundraising page.
Before working at the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy, Baker had also worked with the Utah Department of Corrections.
“On Saturday, Joel would always order his crew a pizza from Big Daddy’s and stock the breakroom freezer full of ice cream; he wanted to ensure everyone had something to eat no matter what,” said the fundraising site.
His co-workers weren’t the only ones looking to organize help for Baker’s family. Eagle Mountain resident Allie Bryant also offered her services to help support the Baker family as soon as she learned of Baker’s passing.
Bryant, who owns Desert Sky Photography in Eagle Mountain, decided she would host 15-minute, Christmas-themed “mini sessions” in her home. She then planned to donate the proceeds in their entirety to the Baker family.
“Please consider booking and supporting them during this unimaginably difficult time! Donations are of course welcome either way,” wrote Bryant in a Facebook post to the Eagle Mountain City Citizens Facebook Page.
Comments and messages started pouring in. Three days of photography time slots were booked within 48 hours.
Bryant, who has been a friend of Deputy Baker’s wife Valerie, says they met at a fitness class.
“She is one of the most genuine people I know with the best personality,” says Bryant. “You won’t meet a kinder soul.”
Though she did not know Deputy Joel Baker, Bryant says Valerie and Joel had a special bond.
Their one-year-old son was the light of their lives, according to Bryant.
Following news of his passing, many Eagle Mountain residents told of their relationship to Deputy Baker on the Eagle Mountain City Citizen’s Facebook Page.
“Joel was an awesome guy, We were friends while he worked at the prison. He will be missed,” said Nique Mower.
Funeral arrangements for Deputy Baker are pending.