Man, 84, struck in Steamboat hit-and-run all smiles as he completes final physical therapy session |

Man, 84, struck in Steamboat hit-and-run all smiles as he completes final physical therapy session

Roger Carlson sings a song while making a trip through the hallways of the UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center on Thursday afternoon. The session was Carlson's last along his road to recovery after being struck by a hit-and-run driver back in April.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Roger Carlson had a smile plastered across his face Thursday afternoon as he walked through the halls of UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center, singing the lyrics to Kool & The Gang’s “Celebration.”

“I’m a living miracle,” said Carlson, who will celebrate his 84th birthday next month. “I will soon be back to my 5 or 6 miles a day hiking on my Fitbit.”

It was Carlson’s final physical therapy session three months after being hit from behind by a dark colored SUV while walking from Casey’s Pond on Owl Hoot Trail just up Walton Creek Road to a nearby bus stop.

The vehicle that struck him did not stop after hitting Carlson, who police said was well off the roadway. The vehicle left the scene of the incident.

Carlson, a resident of Steamboat Springs, took a moment away from his hallway rounds and pointed out the scratches on his working Fitbit left from the incident.

“I’ve been coming once or twice a week. We cut it back to once a week about a couple of weeks ago,” Carlson said of his physical therapy sessions. “I feel just like I did on April 26, the day before I got hit — I felt so good that day.”

Patty Bobryk, a physical therapist at UCHealth SportsMed Clinic, joined him for his final session.

“He has come a tremendous distance, and I think his attitude plays a huge role in his final outcome,” Bobryk said. “I believe that he has always been forward thinking, he never looks backward and says, ‘Poor me.’ He always has been focused on his goal.

How to help

People are able to donate to a GoFundMe benefitting Roger Carlson by visiting

“He is very, very positive and very, very motivated.”

Bobryk said she is not surprised by Carlson’s recovery but said the fact he survived after being hit was miraculous, and his determination to return to his active lifestyle has been inspiring.

Carlson said he is thrilled to be feeling better but admitted he still has a way to go toward full recovery.

While his physical therapy is over, he still faces some costly dental work. But he said he continues to remain positive, to stay active using the Fitbit that still bears the reminders of that night to count every step along his road to recovery.

The driver of the vehicle that struck him never came forward, and police have not made any arrests in the case.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.

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