Steamboat Springs Friends say John Robert Main, who died Thursday in an all-terrain vehicle crash near Clark, was well known in the North Routt County community and will be greatly missed.
“He was just a really fantastic man,” said Katie Bessey, co-owner of the Hahn’s Peak Cafe. “He was kind and generous, helped people out, played music beautifully and shared it with everyone, and gosh, we’re all just going to miss him so much.”
An autopsy performed Friday morning revealed that Main died from blunt-force trauma. Routt County Undersheriff Ray Birch said it appeared the Clark resident may have been trying to avoid wildlife when he lost control of his ATV on a dirt road.
Birch said an investigation performed by deputies and Colorado State Patrol troopers indicated Main was traveling north between 35 and 40 mph on C.R. 62 about three miles from Clark when he hit the brakes and turned abruptly to the right, causing the ATV to roll at least twice.
Birch said there was no indication that other vehicles were involved in the accident. Investigators found deer or elk tracks near the crash site.
“The theory right now is that wildlife crossed the road and he deviated,” said Birch, adding that neighbors reported seeing a lot of wildlife recently in the area of the crash.
Birch said Main was not wearing a helmet, but rather a cowboy hat. Toxicology tests are pending, Birch said, and deputies plan to examine the ATV to determine if any mechanical problems could have caused the crash.
At about 4:30 p.m. Thursday, a passer-by discovered the crash and Main, who was unconscious and not breathing.
Steamboat Springs resident Dave Mihaich said Main was an electrician and owned Delta Electric. Mihaich said Main always would come up to camp during hunting trips with his guitar and revolver, which he would use to shoot a couple of grouse for dinner and then sing folk songs around the fire.
“Just a hell of a guy,” Mihaich said. “Anyone you talk to is going to speak very highly of him.”
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com