Loveland ski patrol illegally moved dead man’s body before coroner arrived

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CLEAR CREEK, Colo. — Officials with Loveland Ski Area mishandled the body of a 35-year-old man who died after skiing into a tree, the Clear Creek County Coroner’s Office said.

The coroner’s office identified Cole Barker of Georgetown as the man who died Friday at the resort. He was wearing a helmet and is believed to have died from blunt force trauma.

The Summit Daily News reports ski patrol moved Barker’s body down the hill and began to clear the scene at the bottom of a run off the Lift 8 chair before the coroner arrived.

Under Colorado law, a dead body cannot be moved from an accident scene unless the coroner gives authorization.

“There wasn’t much of a scene by the time we got there,” Clear Creek County Coroner Chris Hegmann told the newspaper. “The body is not supposed to be moved. It is in the statute.”

Hegmann said he and the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office will have to rely on photographs and information from ski patrol to help in the investigation.

A spokesman for the resort told the newspaper that it is cooperating with the investigation.

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