UPDATED: Steamboat doctor dies after plane crashes on Emerald Mountain
Updated at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and again Sunday at 10:40 a.m. with information about the deceased.
A 46-year-old Steamboat Springs man died Friday evening after his plane crashed at the top of Emerald Mountain, according to officials.
Dr. Clint Devin, an orthopedic surgeon with Steamboat Orthopaedic and Spine Institute, was the pilot and sole occupant of a small aircraft traveling from Cody, Wyoming. On approach to Steamboat Springs Airport, Denver Air Center lost contact with Devin at around 6 p.m., Routt County Undersheriff Doug Scherar said Saturday morning.
The air center contacted the Routt County Sheriff’s Office, which was able to track the plane to the area of Emerald Mountain, west of downtown Steamboat. Routt County Search and Rescue volunteers used snowmobiles to access the top of Emerald and located the plane. Devin was pronounced dead at the scene.
Devin’s family has been notified, according to Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg. He is survived by his wife, Jessica Devin, an endocrinologist who practices in Steamboat, and their two sons.
Dr. Jon Hamilton, a primary care physician at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center, said in his three years of friendship with Devin, the two shared memories of flying together, talking about aircrafts and helping each other’s patients through medical issues.
“I trust him enough to take care of my family; he’s very good at what he did and very good with people,” Hamilton said. “He’s definitely a true loss to the community.”
Hamilton described Devin as both an excellent physician and a kind man who made patients feel at ease.
“(Devin) had a very personable nature that served him well and served his patients well,” Hamilton said.
Devin took care of Hamilton’s son through several medical procedures, which Hamilton said strengthened the relationship between his and Devin’s family.
“I did call him with concern for a very dear patient of mine on a Saturday,” Hamilton said. “He took care of them on a Saturday, when he didn’t have to, and that just speaks to his nature and how he was.”
Before joining SOSI, Devin was the head of spine trauma at Vanderbilt University in Nashville and an adjunct associate professor of orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He grew up in Laramie, Wyoming.
“All of us at Steamboat Orthopaedic and Spine Institute are devastated by the loss of our colleague and friend,” SOSI partners said in a statement. “Our community has lost a brilliant spine surgeon who helped many to move forward in their journey toward healing.
“As a father and husband, Clint was dedicated to his family and was thrilled to move them to Steamboat to be part of our active, caring community. As a partner, Dr. Devin was a driver in the creation of the new SOSI practice and the Steamboat Surgical Center. Clint Devin, with his intellect and genuine smile will truly be missed by all of us,” the statement said.
The National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the crash in the next several weeks, Scherar said.
Backcountry access on Emerald is closed until further notice, but normal downhill operations at Howelsen Hill Ski Area are open, Steamboat Springs Parks and Recreation Director Angela Cosby said.
Bryce Martin, assistant editor and digital engagement editor with Steamboat Pilot & Today, contributed to this report.
To reach Alison Berg, call 970-871-4229 or email aberg@SteamboatPilot.com.
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