Couple killed on way home from Tevis Cup

By: Penne Usher, Gold Country News Service
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Two volunteers and Tevis Cup enthusiasts met an untimely death Saturday. Jess "Art" Baker, Jr., 76, and his wife Michele Desiano, 56, both of Grass Valley, were killed in a car crash after leaving the Robinsoni Flat aid station of the 100-mile endurance horse race. Officials of the Grass Valley office of the California Highway Patrol said Baker was driving his 2002 Cadillac Escalade sport utility vehicle northbound on Highway 49 south of McKnight Way around 4 p.m. Saturday when he moved into oncoming traffic. Baker was pronounced dead at the scene. Desiano was transported to Sierra Nevada Hospital by ambulance where she was later pronounced dead. Both were wearing seatbelts, officials said. Michelle Montgomery, 42, of Penn Valley, who was driving southbound in a Toyota 4-Runner when Baker hit her head-on, was transported by air ambulance to Sutter Roseville with serious injuries. Hospital officials said she was in "fair condition" Monday. Officials said the cause of the fatal crash is still under investigation, however it is possible Baker, who had an existing medical condition, could have had a heart attack.