Derek Jensen Photo Source:
Derek Jensen
Age 37    Anniston, AL    June 14 2012
Comments: 1

Source: A vehicle struck and killed a bicyclist on his way to work through Golden Springs this morning, Anniston police said. Anniston police Sgt. Scott Grissom said Derek Thomas Jensen, 37, of Oxford, was struck by a truck driven by Ethan Norton, 22, of Heflin, around 6:30 a.m. on Golden Springs Road near Harvest Church, between Coleman Road and Greenbrier Dear Road. Two nurses traveling to work stopped and rendered aid on the scene but were unsuccessful, said Calhoun County Coroner Brown. The coroner pronounced him dead at 7:20 a.m. Jensen, the external affairs director of the Center for Domestic Preparedness at McClellan, was married with three children, Brown said. Grissom said Norton was interviewed at the scene and told police he was driving his burgundy 2001 Chevrolet Silverado on the inner northbound lane on Golden Springs Road and struck Jensen while merging into the outside lane. The accident is still under investigation, Grissom said. News of Jensen’s death spread quickly through the Homeland Security community. Randy Cooper, manager of Utah’s chemical stockpile preparedness program, said he heard about Jensen’s accident from colleagues in Washington, D.C. this morning. “He was a very conscientious, very safe young man, one of those young men who are driven to succeed,” Cooper said. “He had accomplished so much at 37, and had so much potential to do more.” Cooper first met Jensen when Jensen left his job as a reporter at The Deseret News to work as a spokesman for Utah’s Department of Homeland Security. “He was looking for a workplace that provided a more stable environment for his family,” Cooper said. Cooper and Jensen were neighbors for three years, and even then Jensen was a biker, Cooper said. Jensen later moved to a FEMA office in Denver, where he biked to work daily, Cooper said. Cooper said Jensen "found his niche" as a Homeland Security spokesman, rising quickly through the ranks to become a spokesman for a major agency, the CDP. But it wasn't the first time he found a job he had a knack for. Retired Deseret News city editor Angie Hutchinson said Jensen was one of the "good guys" in her newsroom, covering, among other things, the 2002 kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart. "A great reporter and a great person," she said, describing Jensen. "He was always upbeat even though he was covering crime and courts." Former CDP spokeswoman Kathy Wood said Jensen took the CDP job in Anniston so his wife could be closer to her family in Tennessee. "The CDP is in shock because we're like a family," said Wood, who is retired from the center. "It's a family in mourning right now."

Collision Data

Crash time: between 6 a.m. and 8:59 a.m.

Closest Intersection: Coleman Rd

Land use: Urban

Road type: Urban Arterial

Where on the road the collision happened: Road

Collision type: Sideswipe

Driver Data

Vehicle type: Light Trucks (SUVs, pickups)

At crash time driver was: Operating the Vehicle in Careless or Inattentive Manner


Source: News Report
Type: Newspaper
Pos/Neg: Neutral
Link if Website:

Legal Status

There is no information on legal status at this point.


  • Kevin Van Auker June 18 2012

    When Derek lived in the Denver area, his daughter and mine (who are about the same age) would play at the park together.  Derek was a good guy and a great father.

    I would never have considered myself super-close to him, but I have shed tears over his accident.  He had more of impact on my life than I knew.  He will be missed.

    His wife is a loving mother who now has 3 children on her own.  They have lost a husband and father.  This will be difficult for them.  Prayers and condolences.

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