Steamboat Springs cyclist dies after being found in ditch |

Steamboat Springs cyclist dies after being found in ditch

Cyclists who were riding with the 69-year-old male cyclist speak to a deputy Thursday after the cyclists found the man had crashed into a ditch in the Dakota Ridge subdivision.
Matt Stensland

A 69-year-old man who splits time between Steamboat Springs and Texas was cycling Thursday and was pronounced dead after being discovered by fellow riders in a ditch.

The incident marks the second death involving a cyclist in the Steamboat area in the past week, but it is unclear if a medical issue contributed to the most recent.

The name of the man who died Thursday was not immediately being released, and Routt County Undersheriff Ray Birch said he did not know where the man spent his time in Texas.

Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue firefighters and Routt County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to Aspen Ridge Road and Tree Top Lane in the Dakota Ridge subdivision at 12:23 p.m.

The man had been riding with five other road cyclists. They went into the subdivision off Routt County Road 14, climbed the hill and regrouped before heading back downhill. Birch said the man was known to be a very cautious rider and was typically the last one to make it downhill. Birch said the riding group waited for the man for five to 10 minutes, then rode uphill to look for him. They found him crashed in a ditch; no one witnessed the crash. The man was not breathing and was unconscious. The man’s riding partners performed CPR. A deputy then arrived and attached a portable defibrillator. The Routt County Coroner’s Office was notified after the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Birch said the man’s helmet was damaged, but it was not known whether a medical issue caused him to crash. An autopsy is scheduled for Friday to determine the cause of death. Birch said investigators were not aware of the man having any significant medical issues leading up to the crash. He added there were no clear indications the man deviated or braked before crashing into the ditch.

Steamboat’s first cycling crash that resulted in a death this summer was July 16. Local real estate agent Steve Novack was pronounced dead the following day. Novack, 64, had left his office at Coldwell Banker on his bicycle to have lunch. About 12:44 p.m., he crashed hard on his bike on Trafalgar Drive between Freshie’s and the Mountain View Car wash.

He was not wearing a helmet and was knocked unconscious after hitting his head. Witnesses who heard the loud crash rushed to Novack’s aid before he was taken to the hospital, then flown to Denver. Novack ultimately died from a traumatic brain injury. Police do not know what caused him to lose control.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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