Basalt doctor killed in car crash |

Basalt doctor killed in car crash

Steve Benson

A Basalt doctor died Saturday night after losing control of his car on Highway 24 east of Buena Vista.

Anthony Pilch was returning home from Pueblo, where he was completing a hospital residency, to visit his wife, Barbro. He was 42 years old.

“His heart was here in Basalt,” Barbro said. “Every minute he had that he could come up and spend in this area he would do it – he couldn’t wait to go for another hike.”

According to the Colorado State Patrol, Pilch lost control of his car in a left-hand curve of the highway, overcorrected and rolled numerous times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Anthony and Barbro Pilch were married nearly 12 years ago – their anniversary is a week and a half away. Barbro spent seven years in Aspen in the 1980s before moving to Chicago, where she met Anthony. The pair worked at American Airlines together for several years and eventually went back to school to build a “future we would enjoy,” Barbro said.

Anthony went to medical school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, while Barbro studied dentistry at Marquette University in Wisconsin.

The couple moved back to the valley in 2002, settling in Basalt last fall.

“We searched all over, and in 2002 we came back on vacation and felt this was it,” Barbro said. “Everything just clicked with us – in nature and being outside – and coming back to all my friends, I have so many friends in this valley.”

Barbro said her husband was passionate about the outdoors and his work, and had become a “great doctor.”

“I spoke to a lot of his colleagues, they say he had a way of touching his patients – he reached out to them in a very special way,” she said. “A lot of people are missing out on his life being taken so suddenly.”

It is not known if weather or road conditions contributed to the accident, though the National Weather Service in Pueblo was reporting light snow in the area at the time.

Steve Benson’s e-mail address is

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