Deceased pilot was columnist, politically involved
Carbondale businessman, former town council candidate and Valley Journal columnist Barry Maggert died Thursday when his single-engine plane crashed in the mountains about 40 miles west of Denver.Authorities confirmed the identity of the pilot early Friday morning.Gilpin County Sheriffs office spokeswoman Cherokee Blake said Maggert, 55, and a 23-year-old passenger were on the plane. They were reportedly on their way to a graduation for Maggerts son, Lee Barry Maggert, in Boulder when the crash happened near Black Hawk on Thursday. The passenger’s identity had not been revealed as of early Friday, but Maggert’s twin sons, Lee and Bryant, are 23.They had departed from the Glenwood Springs Airport earlier in the day. The plane is owned by Winkmaggair LLC, and is registered to Maggert, and Carroll Winkler of Glenwood Springs. Maggert was a regular columnist for The Valley Journal, penning a Libertarian perspective in Live & Let Live for the past four years. He previously chaired the Garfield County Libertarian Party and made a third unsuccessful run for a Carbondale Town Trustee seat in April, and was a former Libertarian candidate for state and national office as well.He owned Maggert & Associates Engineers in Carbondale. His younger brother is Jeff Maggert, a PGA tour golfer.A graduate of the University of Texas, Maggert leaves behind his wife of 25 years, Renee Maggert, and three sons, twins Lee and Bryant and Taylor, 21.Blake said a Blackhawk helicopter was used to lower rescuers to the site of the crash because of the rough terrain and that the 23-year-old survivor was flown to St. Anthonys Hospital in Denver.According to reports, the passenger was able to call 911 on a cell phone after the crash to alert emergency officials. Due to the rugged terrain, rescue workers were unable to retrieve Maggerts body Thursday, but planned to plow a road into the area Friday.The Federal Aviation Administration has been called in to investigate the accident.
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RFTA has a bit of a paradox on its hands. The public bus agency doesn’t anticipate it will haul as many passengers this winter but it needs more buses and drivers than ever. Only 15 people are allowed per bus, so that saps resources.