Longtime Aspen local Jerome Hatem found dead under snowmobile on backside of Aspen Mountain
A longtime member and organizer of the Gentlemen of Aspen rugby club was found dead late Monday underneath a snowmobile on the backside of Aspen Mountain, officials said Tuesday.
Jerome Hatem, 59, was discovered late Monday near the top of Little Annie Road by a resident of the area, said Jesse Steindler, patrol captain with the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
Hatem’s death appears accidental and likely occurred Sunday night, though he was not found until Monday night, according to Steindler and Pitkin County Deputy Coroner Eric Hansen.
The resident told sheriff’s deputies he heard a snowmobile go up the road between 7 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday night but thought nothing of it because it’s a common mode of transportation in that area when it’s covered in snow, he said. The man said he then saw the snowmobile overturned uphill from his home the next morning about 7 a.m.
“He thought someone rolled it and walked home,” Steindler said.
The resident went about his business all day and again noticed the overturned snowmobile about 7:30 p.m. Monday, when he walked up the road to see who it belonged to, he said. When he got there, he saw Hatem’s body underneath the snowmobile and recognized him, Steindler said.
The surprise discovery upset the man, he said. He then walked back to his home and called authorities.
The official cause of Hatem’s death remains under investigation and is pending an autopsy, Hansen said. It appeared to have been an accidental snowmobile accident, he said.
Hatem was a fixture in the rugby community and was the president of the Aspen Gents club as recently as last year.
This is a developing story that will be updated.
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