Woman involved in Steamboat Springs car crash dies
October 25, 2013
Steamboat Springs — The woman who police said caused a serious car crash Thursday afternoon on South Lincoln Avenue died, and an autopsy to determine the cause of her death is pending.
Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg identified the Steamboat Springs resident as Devan Renee Oates, 35.
Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue firefighters were called at about 7:10 a.m. to Oates’ home at the Hillside Village Apartments off Tamarack Drive where she was pronounced dead. Ryg said Oates' teenage daughter found her.
Ryg said Oates has two children, and Oates' mother lives in an apartment next door. Family members attempted CPR.
Ryg said an autopsy was scheduled for Monday.
"It could be a lot of things," Ryg said about the cause of death.
Steamboat police Sgt. John McCartin said that when Oates caused the crash Thursday, it is suspected she was under the influence of prescription drugs that had been prescribed to her.
Oates was driving west on South Lincoln Avenue with her juvenile son when McCartin said Oates turned left onto Anglers Drive and failed to yield to an oncoming minivan. The Ford Explorer Oates was driving was T-boned and rolled.
Firefighters had to extricate Oates from the Explorer.
McCartin said Oates was complaining of chest pain and was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center. Oates’ son and one person riding in the minivan also were taken to the hospital as a precaution.
Ryg said Oates suffered a concussion and leg injury, and she was released from the hospital Thursday evening. Police Chief Joel Rae said Oates submitted to a blood draw at the hospital so toxicology tests could be done.
McCartin said Oates had admitted to taking prescription drugs that had been prescribed to her. Police performed some roadside tests to help determine impairment.
"We believe that she was impaired by drugs," McCartin said.
The investigating officer still was completing the accident report, and McCartin said he did not know what kind of prescription drugs Oates had taken.
McCartin said Oates was issued a summons to appear in court. She was suspected of driving under the influence of drugs, careless driving, child abuse and not restraining her son in a car seat.
Ryg said he might have to wait on toxicology test results before determining a cause of death. It can take about two months for those tests to be completed.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com