Chris Cline’s personal friend and coal industry colleague recalls the great entrepreneur Cline was

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV (WVNS) — Bartow Jones spends time at his White Sulphur Springs home with his family in the summer to take a break from running his private equity fund in New York City.

Jones said the mountain state is a place where he would occasionally have family gatherings at Chris Cline’s Beckley estate, as he worked closely with Cline in the Coal Industry for over a decade.

“I was stunned,” Jones said holding back tears. “You think about what he’s been through.”

Bartow Jones reacted to the news about his friend Chris Cline, who was one of seven people killed when his helicopter crashed off the coast of The Bahamas early Thursday morning.

“The challenges he’s been through, the mine conditions he’s been in, and everything he’s achieved, it just seems inconceivable that he’s passed,” Jones said.

Jones told 59 News he has known and worked with Cline in the coal industry for the past 13 years.

“He’s most confident around people he grew up with, people in the coal mines and in the operations, and he loved to have simple fun you know, riding go karts, playing paint ball,” Jones recalled.

Those are just some of the fun memories Jones will forever hold on to.

From humble beginnings to a billion dollar empire, Jones said Cline never forgot where he came from.

“He gave back, he gave back to things that were focused on West Virginia,” Jones added. “As much as he lived in Florida and had global operations, his success allowed him to give back to the places he loved the most.”

Cline left a legacy in southern West Virginia for generations to come.

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