Soroco student still in ICU

McCoy teen hit by car on Halloween regains consciousness


— A Soroco High School sophomore remains in intensive care at a Denver hospital, police say, after he was hit by a car Halloween night on Colorado Highway 131 in Oak Creek.

McCoy resident Josh Ford, 17, was faring much better Friday than earlier this week, his mother, Rebecca Wood, said. Ford has been brought out of a chemically induced coma and was "conscious but confused," Wood said.

It is unknown how long Ford will remain hospitalized, Wood said Friday. His injuries include a broken vertebra and swelling in his brain.

According to the Colorado State Patrol, Ford was hit by an unknown vehicle at about 11:30 p.m. Oct. 31 on Colo. 131, just south of the entrance to Soroco High School in Oak Creek. The evidence on scene indicated that Ford was lying in the northbound lane of the highway and was struck by the undercarriage of a vehicle, Trooper Brett Hilling said.

Wood has disputed State Patrol's account of the accident, suggesting her son's injuries are more consistent with being struck by an object, such as a side-view mirror, and then being thrown to the ground.

The accident still is under investigation. The speed limit in the area of the accident is 40 mph. Because of curves in the road, a driver going that speed would have only about two seconds to recognize something in the road and stop, Hilling said.

"We're thinking the driver may not have known he ran anything over," Hilling said Thursday.

Yampa resident Steve Padilla, 19, was with Ford when the accident occurred. Padilla told investigators he thought the vehicle may have been a white pickup. Padilla and Ford apparently were heading home from a party in the 400 block of Grant Avenue in Oak Creek.

A counselor has been made available to Ford's classmates at Soroco High School who want to talk about the accident. Students are handling it "surprisingly well," Principal Dennis Alt said.

"The kids here are very resilient," Alt said.

- To reach Melinda Dudley, call 871-4203

or e-mail


nmypinon 8 years, 4 months ago

I want to know who is going to get stuck with paying this boys bills? I think that the person who supplied the alcohol should have to pay them & then have some pretty serious charges brought on them for contributing to minors.


oldskoolstmbt 8 years, 4 months ago

nmy'....paying bills? hope this family does'nt see that one...pretty sure THAT would be the last thing on ANYONE'S mind with a heart....and how close minded is that? just because he lives in south routt, someone else will be stuck with the bill????? ltfo- you are right about the ocpd blog...however, this (alcohol abuse) is always a problem in any town, i guess most of these (south routt) parents don't have the money to pay off the authorities (like stmbt), and not make it to the paper.... josh, god knows most of us were not perfect teenagers and i just send you good thoughts and smiles:):)may you make it back and the force be with you...


arshouse 8 years, 4 months ago

First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers go out to young Mr. Ford, his family, friends, and the entire Soroco community. Regardless of the circumstances, this was a horrible accident and Josh's well being should be everyone's main concern.

However, one cannot help but wonder if the lack of a police presence may have been a contributing factor in this case. Underage drinking parties are a fact of life, but even one patrol car manning the streets (the Friday night of Halloween!) may have been able to extinguish this party before a teenager got drunk enough to pass out on the highway. Also, the driver of the vehicle, whether or not he is guilty of anything, may have been apprehended by now. (I realize that all the facts in this case have not been determined and/or released to the public, so I apologize for using these details in my posting)

It is too bad that a small vocal group of adults in our town feel that their right to live above the law trumps the rest of the town's right to have any law enforcement at all. I realize that the police situation was not ideal before the whole Cargo incident, but it was better than the total lack of law enforcement that we are currently dealing with. Moving forward, how can we expect the already overwhelmed county sheriff's department to adequately patrol our town (let alone all of South Routt), especially as the population keeps rising? (This is not meant to be a slight on the fine Routt County Sheriff's Department! Way to go Gary Wall & the gang!).

As for the originally posted question regarding "paying this boys bills", I am sure that the community will rally around this cause the same way that they did around the whole Cargo debacle. (How about we hijack the Labor Day festivities and turn them into a fund raising opportunity/ego booster for Cargo? What a joke!).


Scott Wedel 8 years, 4 months ago

If none of the neighbors saw enough to report the party to the police then it is unlikely that a passing patrol car would have seen anything.

I am not sure how OC Labor Day festivities were "hijacked" as a Cargo Fund raiser. Cargo had an event at her house and a table at the Park and no more hijacked the event than any of the other numerous causes that were also there such as the Routt County Republican party.

And I expect the people of Oak Creek will rally around this in a similar way that people did rally for Cargo, Chuck and Mike and so on.

And in what alternate reality have you been hiding? The final straw for the OCPD was the OC business owners recommending that Russ and Erik resign or be fired. That is hardly an overall group that thinks they have a right to act above the law.


nmypinon 8 years, 4 months ago

I don't think that having an O.C. cop on that night would have done any good. There were S.O. units on in O.C. that night. And the party was held across the street from a CSP units house. It is very easy for minors to get alcohol. I am going through my own situation right now with the S.O. because someone gave my child alcohol a few months ago. And no need to jump down my throat because I am concerned about the family & their bills. I know how expensive it can get with or without ins. I don't feel that living in South Routt has anything to with this at all. It can & does happen everywhere.


oldskoolstmbt 8 years, 4 months ago

well said ars! nmy'- "who will get STUCK paying this boys bills", sorry..that did not come across as being concerned for this family, i appologize if i misunderstood you. we do need a police dept. in OC! how is it even legal to have around 175 students in a public hs / ms with no immediate protection? scott, you seem to know alot about the citizens, who can we contact to over ride the business owners recomendation?


flotilla 8 years, 4 months ago

Why don't you go to the meetings that have been organized about what to do regarding a police presence? They have been going on now since October. Call David Bonfiglio. Everyone in OC wants there to be safety measures and to be protected. Do you attend the board meetings? As you would know, the town's water rate is about to see an increase to pay for the new position in the water district as required by state regs. Paying for a police staff that was corrupt, bored and not meeting the townsfolk half way was money wasted, as you can now see. They purchased bullet proof vests, new attire, tasers, the list goes on... with money that the town didn't have. If you don't think the board is representing your interests with their decisions (to accept their resignations, or to set up a group who will help determine the future of our law enforcement) then go the meetings, or run yourself when a position comes up. Many people don't have the money to live in Steamboat (and don't want to) so they pay less to live in south routt. Our taxes could increase to pay for enforcement so determining WHAT enforcement is needed is a step in the affordable direction.
It is an awful circumstance that happened but guess what? In Steamboat HS in the 90's when I went to school there, someone shot his friend in the foot with a gun. There are plenty of police around there... Also get your hands on the email sent out from a father of a SSHS boy who is in rehab after overdosing on pharmaceuticals- my point? NOT all accidents can be prevented. This hasn't happened since Russ and Erik left, so it isn't happening everyday. Accident... get on the "task force" and make a difference oldskool.


Scott Wedel 8 years, 4 months ago

Also, the business owners did not recommend dissolving the OCPD. They did recommend Chief Russ and Sergeant Erik resign or be terminated because they were not doing a satisfactory job. The subject of Cargo's arrest barely entered the discussion. Incidents that were discussed was the over serving citation at the Elks in which the police failed to secure the bar liquor and cash after bringing the bartender outside and then lost the case in court because the police failed to collect evidence that anyone had been over served. And the other case was a break in at a business in which the Chief showed no interest in investigating and instead told the owner to get the incident report form and look for evidence of forced entry. And that overall, those officers had lost the trust of far too many in the Town.

Most business owners want to keep the OCPD and find new officers.

Personally, I think the past 10 years of OCPD turmoil strongly suggests there is more than just coincidence in why OC cannot have a stable police department. The most obvious problem is that with such a small police department that someone cannot quit or move on without that decimating the police department. The normal best place to find a replacement chief, promote from within, is not practical with a 2 person dept because then the department would have two senior people and that situation wouldn't last long because the one not the chief would need to leave in order to advance their career.

I would also argue that with all of the paperwork requirements needed by a police dept now day that having a small dept is not efficient. The overhead is spread among too few officers.

I think the Sheriff's dept is the best means of provide police coverage. I would hope that the people of OC, Yampa, Stagecoach and Pburg could work with the Sheriff's dept for everyone's mutual benefit to provide better service. Like maybe setting up a neighborhood watch program and a local animal help society so that the police do not have to be called when someone's dog gets out.


dave fisher 8 years, 4 months ago

Hi flotilla; I would like to help clarify a few factual innacuracies in your post:

1) The Town's water rates will see an incerease in the coming year, that much is true. The increase is a reflection of higher costs to produce fresh water and to fund salaried positions for two plant operators at the water treatment plant and the new wastewater treament plant that will come on line next year. The Town does not have a choice in this matter and we are required to have a "B" and a "C" operator for these facilities. It should also be pointed out that it has been many years since there has been a rate increase for water and sewage, even though costs for both have increased. Water meters will also be installed on every tap so that the Town can be more efficient in comtrolling costs and so that those who now use this resource inefficently will pay for what they are using- or wasting, in the future.

2) The previous police department under Chief Koile in Oak Creek had tasers.

3) The most recent police chief secured grant money at no cost to the taxpayers to pay for their bullet-proof vests.

4) Funds for "attire" were budgeted in the previous fiscal year under the line item "capital expenditures".

5) Claiming that "our taxes could increase to pay for enforcement" is completely false. The only way that could happen is if residents agreed to additonal property taxes for that specific purpose through a special election for the mill-levy increase to pay for it. I believe that we can both agreee that this will not happen anytime soon, no matter if we agree that your claim that "everyone in OC wants there to be safety measures and to be protected" is true or not.

6) There was one (1) member of our community who attended tonight's Town budget meeting and i am absolutely certain that person was not you. Budget meetings are where the funding decisions are made concerning all of these issues that you have brought up. The finalized budget is approved at a later, regular Town Board meeting. If residents are truly concerned, budget meetings are a good place to participate, voice their ideas and learn all about what is involved in the process of running the Town of Oak Creek.

7) Have you submitted YOUR letter of interest to be appointed to the police focus group? We need all the help we can get.

Finally, I would like to say that many good comments have been made about this original article, even though we are now far off topic. It is my hope that Oak Creek will take a long, honest look at issues related to alchohol and it's impact on our community and most specifically, on our youth. The death of two teenagers last year and this most recent tragedy were entierly avoidable. I also hope that the adults who purchased alchohol for all of these young people are apprehended and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Speedy recovery, Josh.


Scott Wedel 8 years, 4 months ago

Actually, Flotilla's comment and Dave Fisher's comment do not differ on the facts so much as their opinion and details of the facts.

Both agreed that water rates will go up to pay for state required positions, but Dave noted there are other items as well.

The stuff purchased by the former police officers was budgeted, but that was a budget with a transfer from the enterprise funds so the Town didn't really have the money.

And if OC were to have the police force that some want then taxes would have to be increased. The taxpayers would have to approve of a tax increase which probably would not pass.

I just don't see the falsehoods by Flotilla in that post or the drama between Dave and Flotilla. Looks to me like LTFO is trying to create drama despite the reality.


flotilla 8 years, 4 months ago

My post was not meant to cause drama. Many of the meetings during the chaos of the police force had shown that the Chief was not afraid to spend our money. i.e. when we hired the new judge, he insisted we purchase a new robe at over 100$ until people rightfully let him know that the previous judge did not have any sentimental value in the current robe. This was just one example. We (the town) did purchase items for them that can be argued from either side but now we don't have a police force and we have plenty of police accessories around- can we sell them for money? I don't know.

I apologize that I misposted the taser purchase.

I know a lot of people in OC that are not barflys LTFO and we all have families and jobs so eat it. This has nothing to do with the bar, so PLEASE find something new to post about OC. My point there was that many of these family's point of view is expressed in their relationship with business owners and they are represented in the concern of safety. However, most of the folks I know have young kids and protect them communally by having/ sharing adult supervision.
I think that your view, Dave, has been pretty obvious with your snide remarks and expressions throughout your time with the board. You really have never been approachable or friendly, and all I have ever seen shine through is your bad attitude, so sorry, but maybe you need to take an honest look at your place in the future of OC. I applaud you for being part of the community and spending your time serving, but I won't vote you in again. It is clear that you, like Chief Russ, think that most people in Oak Creek are no good.
And, no, I did not submit my letter of interest in serving on the police task force. And I most certainly did not attend the budget meeting, that you are correct. But I am not in the dark my friend. I attend matters of the town when I can.
FYI, I never whined about the water rates going up, I was just making a point that we are spending our money where it is necessary Dave. That was all.
I personally think the money used to head our police force could be used finding a decent town manager, like Hayden has. He has done amazing things with that town. Getting in tax dollars, in my opinion would open up our town to getting the necessary amenities we deserve and need.

FINALLY LTFO: Why in the world am I headed to a cold, watery dark grave EXACTLY? Please explain. Take a minute of your day to tell me, exactly why I am apparently going to die in a dark grave in the water? I honestly cannot believe you would write such an insolent thing. Maybe it is because I don't think Dave Fisher is a good representative of OC?


oldskoolstmbt 8 years, 4 months ago

flo- i live in stagecoach, can i still get a board position? i was told no....and with raising three kids, working, and serving on another board in this community i don't have time to serve on another ......i went to school in stmbt in the 80's and guess what? there were lot's of ACCIDENTS as well...what is your point? where did i say this happened because we have no police force????? im well aware of the definition of accident, and how they occur even with adult supervision


flotilla 8 years, 4 months ago

I said, get on the task force because you asked what you can do to override the business owners. I doubt there is a way to override them without attending meetings or getting yourself on the agenda. sorry if you took it the wrong way or perhaps i suggested it the wrong way.


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