The Off-road racing community has lost one of their top stars. A plane crash took the life of Jason Baldwin, 35, as he returned home to Laguna Beach, California on Saturday after competing in one of his favorite and most challenging events, the Baja 1000.
"It was his time to go," Baldwin's sister Kelley Renezeder commented. "We will all learn in our way why he died. He did not die as though he never lived. He lived each day to the fullest."
Truer words could not described the talented racer who competed around the country in the Championship Off-Road Racing (CORR), a short-course series that held events on specially designed tracks that allowed the off-roaders to showcase their abilities in a forum that was not on the desert.
Baldwin also raced in selected event in the Best in the Desert series on desert routes in Nevada, but the family's main focus was in CORR and in the SCORE Desert Racing Series that includes Baja, the granddaddy of off-road racing based out of San Felipe, Mexico.
The crash also took the life of family pilot Dan Newsome and two of Baldwin's friends: Jeff TenEyke and Rick Olausen. An investigation into the Cessna 210's crash, just off the coast of California in the Pacific Ocean will start when the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board sends divers into the area tomorrow.
Jason was just one member of his family who raced. Brother Josh is a top competitor along with brother-in-law Carl Renezeder -- all three have multiple victories and championships.
Other family racing members include Jason's wife Evie, his sister Kelley and Josh's wife Cissy. The ladies run in the buggy category.
At the CORR Labour Day weekend in Crandon, Wisconsin, Baldwin joined an elite list of drivers who have won the Crandon BorgWarner World Championship Shootout in his Ford F-150 4x4.
Earlier this year, Jim Baldwin purchased the CORR series which has been in the process recently of relocating the headquarters in Newport Beach, CA.
Jason is survived by his wife Evie, two young daughters, Annabelle and Sabrina Kate; his father James; brother Josh (Cissy); and sister Kelley (Carl Renezeder).