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Y. professor killed on way to funeral

A BYU professor who was on the way to speak at his brother's funeral died when a truck slammed into his car Saturday.

Killed was:James Baird, 68, Provo.

"I found out about the accident when I got to my brother's funeral at about 9 a.m.," said James Baird's brother Fred Baird Saturday night. "He was in an automobile accident and killed instantly at 8 a.m. It was terrible."

James Baird and his wife attended the viewing of his brother, Orrin Baird, 71, at Myers Mortuary in Brigham City Friday night and decided not to drive back to Provo, a family member said. Orrin Baird died from a stroke Monday.

They stayed at a motel and were going to stop for breakfast on the way to the funeral Saturday when the truck crashed into the car.

James Baird, a professor in BYU's Department of Elementary Education for 25 years, pulled onto 1100 South from 500 West and a pickup truck slammed into the driver's side of his car about 8 a.m., police said.

Investigators believe Baird did not see the truck. The truck didn't have time to stop and crashed into the car, according to the Brigham City Police Department.

Paramedics transported Baird to the Brigham City Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Louise Baird, James Baird's wife, suffered a bruised knee and a few scratches.

The driver of the truck, whose name police did not release, was treated and released for minor injuries, police said.

James Baird left behind 11 children, two brothers and a sister. The family was trying to deal with the loss Saturday night.

"Relatively speaking, we're (the family) doing pretty well," said Douglas Baird, James Baird's son. "We've had a stream of people calling and coming through. It was such a shocking thing, we haven't had time to think about it."

Douglas Baird, 27, learned of his father's death when he arrived at the funeral Saturday morning. He left to go check on his mother, he said.

James Baird was an outgoing man who wasn't shy about expressing his opinions, Douglas Baird said.

"I wouldn't be surprised if half of the city knows him," he said. "He was the most outgoing person I've known. He was also the most opinionated person I've ever known. But he could express his feelings without offending you. I don't think he had an enemy in the world."

James Baird served in the Army in South Korea just after the Korean war ended, Fred Baird said. He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Australia. He married in 1963.

James Baird worked for the Alpine School District for 12 years before joining the faculty at BYU in about 1973, Fred Baird said.