Victim suffered brain injury in Spar Gulch accident; investigation is ongoing
A Philadelphia woman died on Monday from injuries sustained in a collision with another skier on Aspen Mountain, and authorities said Tuesday they are hoping to find witnesses to the accident.
Natalie Egleston, 48, suffered a traumatic brain injury in the collision, which happened on Spar Gulch near its juncture with the Jackpot ski run, according to press releases from the Pitkin County Coroner’s Office and the Aspen Skiing Co.
Egleston was standing on Spar Gulch waiting for a friend at the time, said county deputy coroner Eric Hansen.
The accident occurred around 3:45 p.m. in an area about 100 to 150 yards above Kleenex Corner, said SkiCo spokesman Jeff Hanle.
The other skier, a woman from New York City who was not identified, immediately rendered aid to Egleston, said Pitkin County Sheriff Patrol Director Jeff Lumsden. The New York woman suffered minor injuries. Both skiers were wearing helmets, and the coroner’s office said the cause was accidental.
How it happened remained under investigation Tuesday, Lumsden said. The investigation will determine the speeds of the skiers and whether a ticket will be issued, he said.
Sheriff’s investigator Brad Gibson spent Tuesday morning appraising the accident site and returned in the afternoon to study the shadows in the area, said Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo.
Egleston was wearing dark or gray clothes and may have been standing in a shadow at the time, DiSalvo said.
The force involved in the collision didn’t appear to be overly strong, and it “may have been a perfect storm of circumstances” that led to her death, he said.
Hansen said Egleston died from her head hitting the snow.
Ski patrol responded at 3:46 p.m. and found Egleston unconscious and unresponsive, Hanle said in a press release.
Patrollers began advanced life-saving procedures, and she was transported to a waiting ambulance. Egleston was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
“The employees of Aspen Skiing Co. are truly saddened by this tragic outcome, and our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family and friends,” Hanle said.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Egleston was president of Indoor Direct, a marketing company that produces a magazine-style TV show for restaurants. She had previously been chief strategy officer and executive vice president at Premier Retail Networks.
Egleston graduated from Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, Pa., and then attended Cornell University, according to her Facebook page.
Her brother told Denver’s Westword that Egleston was originally from Philadelphia, and recently moved back to the area after spending time in San Francisco.
The SkiCo did not release anything about the accident on Monday because officials were continuing to gather information, Hanle said. The company also was waiting until authorities had notified next of kin.
Egleston’s death is the third fatality from incidents on the local ski areas this winter, and, with the death of X Games snowmobiler Caleb Moore on Jan. 31, was the second in four days. Snowmass ski patroller Patsy Hileman died Dec. 30 after an avalanche swept her over a cliff at the Snowmass Ski Area.
Hansen said there no witnesses to Monday’s collision.
“We want anyone who saw accident to call the sheriff’s office,” he said. “We would like to get some witness statements. We have nothing, really.”
Anyone with information about the accident is asked to call 920-5300.