GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB)-- 18 years ago, at around 4:00am on February 12, 2001, Gainesville Police Officer Scott Baird was trying to move a batting cage out of the road near Gainesville High School. It was too heavy, so he called in help to move it. While waiting for that help, a 17-year-old boy driving back from dropping his mother off at work, and going 7 miles per hour over the speed limit, struck the cage which fatally then injured Officer Baird.
It is still unclear who placed the batting cage in the road, but police suspect that it was a prank pulled by a rival school to GHS.
Officer Baird was 23 years old, and had served on with the Gainesville Police Department for 2 years. He had also been voted by local businesses as the "Most Popular Officer". Since his death, the road that he died on has been renamed in his honor and a memorial has been placed there.