Senior center chef hurt in accident; center seeking donations to help with bills | NevadaAppeal.com

Senior center chef hurt in accident; center seeking donations to help with bills

Rhonda Costa-Landers
Appeal Staff Writer

Carson City Senior Citizens Center Chef Robert Baca says the last thing he remembers is leaving Costco and turning his car north onto Highway 395.

Recently featured in the Nevada Appeal, Baca was seriously injured Friday in an afternoon accident in south Carson City.

“The Highway Patrol told me it was a four-car wreck and I was the only one hurt. And it was not my fault,” Baca said from his his hospital room at Washoe Medical Center.

Baca suffers from two broken ribs, a concussion, bruised spleen, two cracks in his pelvis and damage to his lower spine. He has been the center’s chef about three months.

“Gigi, my nurse, said I may be out of here in one or two days,” he said,with eagerness in his voice.

Baca will have to spend some time rehabilitating. “Mostly just bed rest,” he said.

Baca said several seniors from the center have called to wish him well. Janice McIntosh, the center’s director, has called and stopped in for a visit.

“We ask everybody to have Robert in their thoughts and prayers,” McIntosh said Wednesday. “He’s doing better but he’s in a lot of pain. He really wants to come back, soon. But I told him it’s more important to take time to heal, or he will exacerbate the condition and it will take him longer to heal.”

McIntosh said Baca is also concerned about his medical bills. He does not have health insurance and, without working, he has no income.

“He had medical through his auto insurance, but none at work, and now his car is gone. He had to be cut out of the car.”

But he still finds reasons to be grateful.

“It takes a load off my shoulders knowing nobody else was hurt,” Baca said.

“The only thing I remember, when I was still in the car, was hearing someone say, ‘We can’t get him out. We’ll have to take the top of the car off.’

“And someone handed me a piece of paper and they said they saw the whole thing. It was a relief to me to know it wasn’t my fault. I was concerned someone else may have been hurt.

“I was really upset to think I could have hurt somebody.”

Baca has called the senior center the past two mornings talking with his staff about the day’s menu.

“The kitchen staff has been wonderful,” McIntosh said. “They’re really hard workers. The meals will continue.”

The senior center will accept donations on Baca’s behalf to help with expenses. Contributions should be made out to Robert Baca and mailed to or dropped off at the center, 911 Beverly Drive, 89706.

— Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at rcosta-landers@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1223.

You can help

To assist with Robert Baca’s medical bills, checks may be mailed to or dropped off at the center, 911 Beverly Drive, 89706.