- The Washington Times - Monday, January 23, 2017

An environmental activist who was trekking barefoot across the country to raise awareness about climate change was fatally struck by an SUV on a Florida highway Saturday afternoon.

Mark Baumer, 33, of Rhode Island, was walking on the shoulder of Highway 90 in Walton County, Florida, when the driver of the SUV, identified as Sonja Siglar of Westville, lost control and hit him, ABC News reported.

Mr. Baumer was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Florida Highway Patrol ruled out alcohol as a factor and said charges were pending against Ms. Siglar, ABC reported.

Mr. Baumer, who started his journey in October, said he was hiking across the country for the “lofty goal” of saving the planet, as well as to raise money for the FANG Collective, a non-profit group that opposes the natural gas industry.



FANG, which stands for Fighting Against Natural Gas, confirmed Mr. Baumer’s death in a Facebook post Sunday.

“We are shocked and devastated to learn about the passing of our friend Mark Baumer,” the organization said. “As a friend he was always there for us emotionally and did whatever he could do to support the work and vision of FANG. He was a strong ally who put in the work of understanding racism and privilege. We only knew Mark for a year, but in that year he had a huge impact on all of us personally and on the work of FANG.”

Mr. Baumer’s donations page, “Crossing America Barefoot to Save Earth from Climate Change, raised more than $16,000 as of Monday afternoon, well exceeding their goal of $10,000.

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