PITKIN COUNTY, Colo. — A hiker who was nearing the summit of North Maroon Peak is dead after authorities say he fell approximately 800 feet.
Pitkin County Deputy Coroner Eric Hansen said that 34-year-old Derek Kelley, from Colorado Springs died while ascending the mountain after a boulder came loose.
The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office confirmed they received a call about the incident at approximately 9:20 a.m. Saturday. The man appeared to be hiking alone and was about 300 feet from the summit of the 14er before plunging down the peak.
Emergency crews began coordinating a helicopter rescue at a lake near the base of the mountain at approximately noon.
A group of independent hikers were able to reach the man’s body before the helicopter. When the rescuers arrived on the scene, they requested a coroner, who later confirmed the man’s death had been caused by a traumatic brain injury.