Skier dies in Breckenridge 'incident'
Paul Nelson, 57, of Lafayette, was a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army
March 3, 2006
BRECKENRIDGE - A 57-year-old Lafayette man was pronounced dead at the Breckenridge Medical Center Wednesday afternoon after a ski incident on the intermediate Claimjumper trail on Breckenridge's Peak 8, according to a release from the resort.
Retired Lt. Col. Paul Nelson may have lost control while skiing and run into trees, said Summit County deputy coroner Mike Schmitt.
Nelson's son-in-law Michael Scanlon said Nelson served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in the Soviet Union in the 1990s inspecting Russian nuclear plants.
"It's common to say someone is a great guy when he dies, but (Nelson) truly was a great guy. We're getting calls from all over the world today," Scanlon said.
Nelson was not wearing a helmet at the time of the incident. Nelson's death was the fifth skiing-related fatality in Colorado this year.
A 43-year-old Air Force major from Monument died Feb. 15 after hitting a tree on Breckenridge's Peak 8, and a 28-year-old Illinois man died the following week at Swedish Medical Center in Denver after colliding with a tree on Breckenridge's Four O' Clock run.
On Feb. 9, a Maryland man was killed at Beaver Creek after colliding with another skier, then crashing into a tree.
On Feb. 11, a 22-year-old Aspen Skiing Co. employee died from the severe head injuries he suffered two-and-a-half weeks earlier when he collided with a tree at Snowmass.
Last year, there were nine skier deaths in the state, according to Ashley Boyden with Colorado Ski Country USA.
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