Basalt police: Death strange but not suspicious
pitkin county correspondent
BASALT ” Basalt police investigators cannot determine all the details in a bizarre accident that killed Barbara Joyce Schey this weekend, but they “definitively” ruled out foul play, Sgt. Mark Langford said Monday.
Schey, 69, a real estate agent with Aspen Real Estate Co., died outside her Lakeside townhome in Basalt’s Willits subdivision Friday night or Saturday morning after a strange sequence of events.
“We’re pretty comfortable with the fact that she was by herself,” Langford said. “It just boils down to a very tragic accident.”
Here’s what police believe happened: Schey stepped out of her house and onto her balcony when she hooked a foot on an extension cord. She fell forward and smacked her head hard enough on a two-by-four wood railing to cut a gash on her forehead and cause internal bleeding.
Schey fell to her hands and knees but managed to get back on her feet. She fell over the railing, which the 6-foot tall Langford described as “waist high.” She landed roughly 10 feet below on the lawn then struggled to her feet again. Schey “zig-zagged” to a spot about 20 yards away where she fell in a shallow, rocky drainage ditch that runs from a parking lot to a lake.
Preliminary results show she died from blunt-force trauma to her head, according to Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis. Langford said she suffered a head injury, injuries from the fall, and exposure to temperatures in the high 20s and low 30s.
“You put those three together, and that would lend itself very well to being the cause of death,” he said.
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