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Barefoot Activist Killed in West Florida


A Walton County motorist is charged in the weekend death of a man who was walking barefoot across America.

Activist Mark Baumer was struck and killed Saturday as he walked along U.S. Highway 90 near the small town of Mossy Head. Saturday was the 100th day of Baumer’s shoe-less cross-country hike from his Rhode Island home to California to raise awareness about climate change. That morning just outside DeFuniak Springs, he posted this video clip to YouTube.

“Do you want to hurt innocent people? People that are suffering? Come at me! Come at me!” Baumer called out, addressing the camera.  Then yelling is heard in the background from across the street. “Oh, there’s a Trump supporter over there,” Baumer announced.

A few hours and less than a dozen miles further west, Baumer was fatally struck by an SUV driven by 51-year old Sonja Siglar of Westville. The Highway Patrol says charges against her are pending. Baumer made a brief stopover in Tallahassee January 7th.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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