A coroner in Colorado ruled Blackberry Farm Proprietor Sam Beall’s death an accident. Beall died during a ski accident at Beaver Creek on Feb. 25.

“Sam died of blunt force trauma to the chest and was an accidental death,” wrote coroner Kara Bettis in an email. “He was wearing a helmet.”

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The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident; a spokesperson said Thursday they didn’t expect to have a report on the accident ready until next week.

Blackberry Farm of Walland, Tenn. announced the death of Beall, 39, in a press release last Friday.

“The Beall family and the Blackberry Farm team are understandably shocked by this heartbreaking news about the man they loved dearly as a son, brother, father, friend and host,” Blackberry Farm said in a release. “They welcome the thoughts and prayers of all those whose lives were touched by Sam’s hospitable nature, visionary leadership and adventurous spirit.”

RELATED: Memorial services set for Sam Beall

As the news of Beall’s death began to circulate in culinary circles last week, condolences and tributes began to pour in.

Image of Sam Beall, proprietor of Blackberry Farm, courtesy of the Blackberry Farm website.
Image of Sam Beall, proprietor of Blackberry Farm, courtesy of the Blackberry Farm website.

In an interview with 10News, Joseph Lenn, former executive chef at Blackberry Farm, remembered Beall's infectious personality.

"His happiness and love for life," says Lenn. "You just couldn't help but want to live life to the fullest like he did."

"He clearly had a great vision for hospitality and you know, what it means to East Tennessee in the 21st century," said Knox Mason owner Matt Gallaher. "It's a big loss, but the standards he set and culture he created at Blackberry, those will live on."

From New York to Nashville, folks paid tribute to the man many say changed the way people viewed Southern hospitality.