Remembering Nine Who Died at Colo. Ski Areas in 2016, Including Catie Abeyta

The Colorado ski season is winding down.

And while the vast majority of skiers and snowboarders who visited here in 2016 had a great time, the resorts were also the setting for a number of tragedies.

Between January and April, we've told the stories about nine people who died at Colorado ski areas, beginning with Logan Salviano and ending yesterday, we hope, with the passing of CSU student Catie Abeyta.

Here's another look at all of their stories, complete with links to our original coverage. We send our sincere condolences to their friends, family and loved ones.

Logan Salviano, R.I.P.: First Colorado Skiing Death of 2016?
January 11, 2016

Each year, the excitement and joy associated with Colorado skiing is tempered by sadness over deaths that take place on the slopes.

Witness the outpouring of grief over the death of Logan Salviano, a 25-year-old who died skiing at Vail last week.

Salviano appears to be the first person to die of a skiing-related accident in Colorado during the 2015-2016 ski season.

The "About" section of Salviano's Facebook page notes that he was a native of Little Falls, New Jersey, who studied philosophy and religion at Pace University in New York

At the time of his death, he was working at Two Elk Lodge in Vail and living in Avon, according to the page.

....Salviano was last seen on Tuesday, January 5, and reported missing the next day, Wednesday, January 6.

Then, on Thursday, January 7, a body was discovered just off an expert run on the front side of Vail Mountain.

The Eagle County coroner subsequently identified the person in question as Salviano.

His death has been ruled accidental.

Jason Taylor, R.I.P.: Boulder Artist Killed in Keystone Skiing Accident
February 18, 2016

The news has been slow in getting out.... [Taylor] actually passed away on January 20 and has already been laid to rest in Manchester-By-the-Sea, Massachusetts, where his parents live.

Taylor....[who] worked as a glass artist in Boulder and enjoyed a slew of outdoor activities in addition to skiing, died after colliding with a tree on Elk Run, a popular spot not far from Wapiti Peak.

Sam Beall, R.I.P.: Tennessee Luxury Hotelier Killed Skiing at Beaver Creek
March 2, 2016

A 39-year-old father of five, Beall was the proprietor of Blackberry Farm, a luxury hotel in Walland, Tennessee, not far from Nashville, which went from a family property to a national travel destination....

Here's his bio from the hotel's website:
Beall was born at Blackberry Farm and makes it his family’s home today. Falling in love with the woods and the fields of Tennessee, the farm drew him back after living 14 years in Alabama when his father’s business was based in Mobile, Alabama. After attending The University of Tennessee and The California Culinary Academy, Sam had the good fortune to apprentice at The French Laundry, where he worked in the dining room, the kitchen and the garden. Also, working at the Ritz-Carlton, Cowgirl Creamery and California wineries, he fell in love with heirloom ingredients, artisanal food products, wine and a way of life not previously seen to his years growing up.

As the proprietor, Sam honors his parents by protecting and evolving the unique place that they originally discovered in 1976. During his leadership, the farm has seen the evolution of the Farmstead, the Wellhouse, expansion of retail program, the creation of two new restaurants, and the accumulation of accolades ranging from Travel + Leisure’s Number 1 hotel in North America, Bon Appetit’s #1 Hotel for Food Lovers, and three James Beard Awards. Along with his wife, Mary Celeste, and their five children, Sam lives — and cooks — from the farm. Blackberry Farm is, to him, not simply a business, but his life, and he brings equal measures of passion, celebration and knowledge to Blackberry Farm and the effort to continue to raise the level of service and experience to new heights.
This rich life was tragically cut short on Thursday, February 25, when, according to the Vail Daily, Beall died of blunt-force trauma after crashing into a post that holds signs on a Beaver Creek ski run.

Christopher Dutko, R.I.P.: Memorial Ride Planned for Skier Killed at Breckenridge
March 7, 2016

A Pennsylvanian who had been working at Breckenridge, Dutko, 26, died after smashing into a tree — and this Friday, a memorial ride at his home ski area is planned in his memory.

The slogan of the event: "We Ride for Dutko."

...Dutko was on Breck's Sundown run this past Tuesday, March 1, when he hit another skier.

He lost control after the collision and struck a tree.

He was not wearing a helmet.

After Dutko's death, a GoFundMe page was launched.

As this introduction notes, his death was only the latest experienced by the family.
On March 1, 2016 a good buddy of mine and many others, Chris Dutko, was sadly killed in a freak skiing accident. Although he died doing what he loved, this whole situation is traumatic to those who were close to Chris, especially his family. Chris moved out here to Colorado this season to follow his dreams and passions with his girlfriend, Maddy. As one of Chris' friends and coworkers, it was obvious that he positively impacted everyone he met. Recently the Dutko family has not only lost a brother/son but also a mother/wife.
Continue for more remembrances of people who died at Colorado ski areas in 2016.

Nathan Rom, Scott Elligott, R.I.P.: Two More Deaths on Colorado Ski Slopes
March 11, 2016

On Wednesday, March 9, Scott Elligott, 49, of Colorado Springs was killed in a crash at Telluride....

Elligott's Facebook page lists his employer as the Air Force.

A memorial Facebook post lists him as having graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1988.

According to the San Miguel Sheriff's Office, Elligott was skiing at Telluride with his twenty-year-old daughter at around 11 a.m. when the accident took place.

She told investigators that she'd been skiing ahead of her dad, and when she looked back, she saw him lose control.

"The area is steep and wooded and it took some time for her to locate him," a sheriff's office release notes. Ski patrol representatives raced to the scene, but they were unable to revive him.

San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters is quoted as saying, “This is a terrible tragedy and our thoughts are with the family,."

...Virginia's Nathan Rom, nineteen, died at Copper Mountain [also on March 9]. known on his Facebook page as Nathan "Kitt" Rom — and he was an extraordinarily bright young man.

A 2013 item on the website of Arlington's Bishop O'Connell High School notes that Rom, then a junior, had scored a perfect 2400 on his SATs.

Rom was skiing at Copper Mountain with his family over spring break.

But on [March 9], he hit a tree — and even though he was wearing a helmet, the impact proved fatal.

Ski Patrol personnel rushed him to the Copper Mountain Clinic, where he was pronounced dead at a time eerily close to Elligott elsewhere in Colorado.

The Summit County Coroner's Office received the call at around 11:30 a.m.

John Sherwood, R.I.P.: NJ Skier Killed in Breckenridge Collision, Witnesses Sought
April 6, 2016

John Sherwood, a 43-year-old from Randolph, New Jersey, died on Monday, April 4, at Breckenridge.

But rather than crashing into trees (the most common scenario), Randolph lost his life as a result of a collision with another skier — and law enforcement is looking for witnesses who might have seen what happened.

...The incident took place shortly after noon on Tiger, a double black diamond run on Breck's Peak 8. The specific location: The chairlift near tower 25.

Sherwood was skiing with his family when he and another skier ran into each other.

Emergency personnel responded, but Sherwood failed to respond to treatment.

...On his LinkedIn page, Sherwood is described as a New Jersey Institute of Technology graduate who worked at Lockheed Martin's Yonkers, New York facility prior to landing a gig as the director of systems development for Prudential Financial in Newark.

“We are very, very heartbroken toward the family and our deepest sympathies go out to them,” Prudential Financial spokesman Peter Price is quoted as saying in a piece on New Jersey's 101.5 radio, which also features condolences from Breckenridge Ski Resort Chief Operating Officer John Buhler.

David Carr, R.I.P.: Snowboarder Second to Die at Breckenridge in a Week
April 11, 2016

Last week, we told you about the death of John Sherwood, a New Jersey resident who died in a collision while skiing at Breckenridge.

Now comes word of another tragedy at Breck. Frisco's David Carr, 32, was killed after crashing into a tree.

His passing took place only two days after Sherwood's.

Carr's death happened around 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 6.... [He} was snowboarding on Claimjumper when the accident took place.

The intermediate run is located on Peak 8 — the same mountain where Sherwood died.

Catie Abeyta, R.I.P.: Student Dies in Breck Ski Mishap Weekend Before Closing Day
April 27, 2016

...Abeyta attended George Washington High School in Denver, where she was on the track team and competed in the long jump....

After graduating from high school, Abeyta enrolled at Colorado State University and joined the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.

She visited Breckenridge on Sunday, [April 24] — and tragedy ensued.

...Abeyta struck a tree while skiing on the Peak 7 Monte Cristo run.

Nonetheless, the Summit County coroner reportedly determined that she suffered fatal blunt-force-trauma injuries as a result of the crash.

As word circulated on social media about what had happened, a large number of grief-stricken posts began appearing.

Here's the remembrance shared by Kappa Kappa Gamma....
Last night, the sisters of Kappa Kappa Gamma and the CSU Community gathered to celebrate the life of our friend and kappa sister, Catie Abeyta. Catie's infectious smile and vibrant personality brightened up the walls of kappa and touched the lives of each of our sisters. Epsilon Beta is overwhelmed and thankful for the love and support we have received during this difficult time. Catie, you are so incredibly loved and we will miss you forever. Heaven has truly gained the most beautiful angel. Rest peacefully in the valley of flowers, our sweet sweet sister.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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