Victim of hit-and-run views night as a ‘bump in the road’ despite facing recovery, expenses
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — It’s been more than six weeks since Roger Carlson was struck from behind by what witnesses described as dark-colored SUV while walking to a bus stop along Walton Creek Road.
For the 83-year-old Steamboat Springs resident, those weeks have been filled with physical therapy, filled with pain and filled with the worries of accumulating medical expenses. But through it all, Carlson remains positive and enthusiastic about making a full recovery.
“I believe that I’m a living miracle,” Carlson said from his home at the Selbe Apartments earlier this week. “It’s just the beauty of life. God made us so that we will heal and we can go on. This was a bump in the road, but it’s not going to determine the rest of my life.”
Carlson was making his way home on April 26 after spending his night visiting and playing games with friends at the Casey’s Pond Senior Living Community at the corner of Walton Creek Road and Owl Hoot Trail.
Because of the rain, Carlson decided not to wait at a temporary stop near Chinook Lane and instead elected to make the short walk up Walton Creek Road to a permanent bus shelter near Shadow Run where he could find cover from the falling rain.
As he made his way to the bus stop, a dark-colored SUV hit Carlson from behind, throwing him to the asphalt and causing injuries that sent him to UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center.
On Wednesday, Steamboat Springs Police Chief Cory Christensen said there have been no new leads in the hit and run case, and police are still asking for help from the community for additional information. Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at 970-870-6226.
If you have information about any unsolved crime, contact Routt County Crime Stoppers. You will remain anonymous and could earn a cash reward.
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After the accident, Carlson was moved to Casey’s Pond to recover and take his first steps toward recovery. An avid walker, Carlson thinks his physical fitness helped him survive being struck that night and has fueled his determination to make a full recovery.
“I’m very thankful to be alive each day and fully expect, at 83, to get back to my 5 or 6 miles a day Fitbit hiking around Steamboat,” Carlson said.
During his recovery, Carlson spent some of his time at Casey’s Pond reading a book by John Glenn and the late astronaut’s words inspired him.
“I’m convinced that everything is going to be A-OK, having just read John Glenn’s book,” Carlson said. “His was 14 years older, but I can relate to everything he did in his lifetime.”
Including Glenn’s drive throughout his life.
Carlson said he has also been driven by his faith in God and is convinced that Jesus was with him the night he was struck.
“Jesus was with me,” Carlson said. “He blacked me out, and I can’t remember anything from the time I started the walk that would get me to the bus stop until I woke up talking to the policeman in the hospital. I think that is good because I don’t have any nightmares about hitting the pavement and all that, so I’m thankful.”
Today, Carlson is faced with a $3,500 bill from the accident that falls outside of his Medicare coverage and will also need to visit the dentist because several of the injuries suffered in the crash. He said he would have liked if the driver who struck him had come forward in the days following the crash, but he isn’t holding a grudge.
Donate to a GoFundMe benefitting Roger Carlson at http://gf.me/u/tj6x94.
“That’s between God and them,” Carlson said. “I do wish that whoever that person was could know the pain an agony I’ve been through the past six weeks. I’m recovering, but it’s not going to be easy.”
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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