Skier who died was businessman from Kentucky |

Skier who died was businessman from Kentucky

Tim Mutrie

The skier who hit a tree at Aspen Highlands and died Monday night has been identified as part-time Aspenite and prominent Kentucky businessman Edward “Buggy” Clemons.

Clemons, 51, was skiing the intermediate run, Lower Hayden, when he skied off the trail and into the woods, striking a tree at 1 p.m., according to Rose Abello of the Aspen Skiing Co.’s communications department. Abello said Lower Hayden had been groomed Sunday night.

Scott Thompson, deputy coroner and a Pitkin County Sheriff’s deputy, said Clemons died from “blunt trauma to his torso.” He said Clemons sustained several severe internal injuries in the collision with the tree, including a broken pelvis and femur.

“He was talking to us when he was coming down in the ambulance, semi-conscious is what I’d call it,” Thompson said. “At [Aspen Valley] Hospital, they took him right in to see Dr. Rodman, the trauma surgeon, and unfortunately they just couldn’t stop the internal bleeding.

“They were going to try to life flight him, but they’ve got to stabilize him before they can put him on an airplane, and they just never got him stabilized,” Thompson said.

Clemons was pronounced dead at the hospital at 7:35 p.m. Monday, Thompson said.

According to Kentucky sources, Clemons maintained a residence in Aspen for a number of years. He was a prominent eastern Kentucky coal operator, who also owned two banks in Hazard and Jackson, Ken. In addition, he had interests in insurance companies, and owned a Ford dealership in eastern Kentucky.

Clemons reportedly was in the process of promoting a $350 million coal-fired power plant at one of his mines. He is survived by his wife and four daughters.

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