Fox News anchor Bret Baier, 48, was involved in a nasty car crash on Monday morning when the Jeep he was driving slid through a stop sign on icy roads in Montana while he was traveling with his family on a ski trip.
Stephen Colbert, who was supposed to host Baier as a guest on Tuesday on “The Late Show,” first broke the news.
“We just found out that (Baier) and his family were in a car accident in Montana,” Colbert told his Monday audience. “Bad, like, Jaws of Life to get him out of there. They’re all in the hospital but they’re going to be OK. And we just want to say, we hope you’re doing better.”
Colbert added, “Bret’s message to everybody out there is they are going to be OK. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for him and his family, and please, wear your seat belt.”
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The anchor and executive editor, Fox News’ “Special Report” explained in a statement sent to USA TODAY Tuesday he was in a “major car crash” after a family ski trip. The Baier family has since been released from the hospital.
“After a weekend of skiing with my wife and two boys in Montana, driving to the airport Monday morning on icy roads, we were involved in a major car crash,” Baier stated. “Thanks to a man driving by named Zach who stopped and helped, we were able to climb out of the flipped car. And thanks to the first responders and Montana Highway Patrol – we made it to the hospital quickly.”
He continued: “We are very grateful to all of those who helped us out. My advice to everyone is to always wear your seatbelt and to count your blessings every day. I tweeted this out as we left the hospital banged up, but alive. ‘Don’t take anything for granted – every day is a blessing and family is everything. It’s always good to remind yourself of that before something does it for you.’ ”
Trooper Alex Velasquez, of the Montana Highway Patrol, said Baier was driving a Jeep outside of Belgrade when he crashed at 9 a.m. Monday.
It was snowing heavily at the time and roads were icy, and the vehicle slid through a stop sign into an intersection where it was struck by a pickup traveling south. The pickup hit the Jeep on the driver’s side door and forced it off of the southeastern corner of the intersection where it came to rest on the driver’s side in the ditch.
Baier was “very polite and respectful,” Velasquez told the Great Falls Tribune, part of the USA TODAY Network. “I had no idea who he was until the end of my shift when I started getting phone calls. He was actually a super nice guy.”
The accident was one of 255 crashes the Montana Highway Patrol responded to Monday and Tuesday during a snow storm the swept over the state.
Baier’s former colleague Megyn Kelly, who worked at Fox News until January 2017, voiced her support for him on social media.
“(Baier) has faced down plenty of life’s challenges with class, grit and a sense of humor and he’ll undoubtedly do the same with this one,” she wrote.
Contributing: Karl Puckett