Coroner says skier died of blunt force trauma to chest |

Coroner says skier died of blunt force trauma to chest

BEAVER CREEK — The 39-year-old Tennessee man who had a skiing accident at Beaver Creek on Thursday died of blunt force trauma to the chest, according to Kara Bettis, Eagle County coroner.

Sam Beall, the owner of Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee, a luxury hotel and event destination in the Great Smoky Mountains, hit a wooden post “that holds the signs,” Bettis said.

Beall was wearing a helmet, and the sign he hit was between runs, Bettis said.

During the 2013-14 season, the National Ski Areas Association reported 32 skier and snowboarder fatalities at U.S. ski areas. It also reported 56.5 million total skier and snowboarder visits during that season.

According to the same report, 27 of the 32 deaths in 2013-14 were male; 20 were skiers; and 23 were wearing helmets.

The toxicology report is not available at this time, Bettis said. The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident with a report coming next week, an official said.

Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.

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