Autopsy reveals Steamboat Springs cyclist’s cause of death
July 31, 2017
Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg on Friday said an autopsy revealed the cyclist who died Thursday suffered a traumatic neck and head injury.
He essentially broke his neck and died immediately in the crash, Ryg said.
The man was identified as 69-year-old Philip (P.D.) Sohn.
Sohn split his time between Steamboat Springs and Conroe, Texas.
He is survived by his wife, Bonnie; daughter, Amy (Adrian); son, Paul; and four grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Bud Werner Memorial Library.
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According to a death notice submitted by Sohn’s family, root beer floats and ice cream will be served “in true P.D. style.”
Sohn was a member of the Over the Hill Gang, a group which, during the summer, organizes group bike rides and other activities for active adults 50 and older.
Sohn had been riding with five other cyclists in the Dakota Ridge subdivision.
The roads in the subdivision are private, but they are desirable to many road cyclists because of their hills, smooth pavement and low vehicular traffic.
Sohn and the other cyclists had regrouped after climbing to the top of the subdivision.
The cyclists then rode to the bottom of the hill.
According to the Routt County Sheriff’s Office, Sohn was known to be a cautious rider and was typically the last to make it downhill.
The cyclists waited five to 10 minutes before riding uphill to look for Sohn.
They found him not breathing in a ditch along a curve.
CPR was not successful, and Sohn was pronounced dead at the scene.
Sohn was wearing a helmet, and it was damaged, undersheriff Ray Birch said.
“At one point, the bicycle was actually launched for a distance and came to a rest,” Birch said. “One would have to think it was a significant impact. Twenty or 30 miles per hour on a bicycle is very significant.”
Birch said investigators would be reconstructing the crash to rule out anything criminal and determine whether anything else caused Sohn to go off the road.
Birch said the bicycle will also be examined by an expert to determine if there were any mechanical issues.
“The sport of bicycling is very popular in this county,” Birch said. “We need to get a message out about safety.”
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.