Soroco student out of ICU | SteamboatToday.com

Soroco student out of ICU

McCoy teen to remain on Front Range for long-term therapy

Melinda Dudley

Soroco High School sophomore Josh Ford remains hospitalized in Denver while recovering from injuries he received when hit on Halloween by a car on Colorado Highway 131 just outside of Oak Creek.

Ford, 17, was transferred out of intensive care during the weekend, his mother, Rebecca Wood, said Tuesday. It is unknown how long Ford will remain hospitalized, but the injury to the frontal lobe of his brain will require long-term intensive therapy, Wood said.

“He’s doing really good,” Wood said. “His long-term prognosis is good, but I don’t know if he’s ever going to be 100 percent again.”

Ford won’t return to Soroco High School this year, and likely will stay with his mother on the Front Range for long-term therapy. Ford was living with his father in McCoy at the time of the accident. Wood lives in Pueblo.

Ford was airlifted to Denver in the wake of the accident and spent several days in a chemically induced coma. He also suffered a broken vertebrate, which his mother characterized as minor compared to his brain injury.

“He’s in a neck brace, but they’re not really concerned with that,” Wood said.

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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. State Patrol investigators say the evidence on scene indicated Ford was laying in the northbound lane of the highway and was struck by the undercarriage of a vehicle.

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.

Ford had been drinking the night of the accident, and he and his friend were thought to have been heading home from a party in the 400 block of Grant Avenue in Oak Creek. Her son does not remember the accident, Wood said.

Investigators think the vehicle that hit Ford may have been a white GMC or Chevrolet pickup, Trooper Brett Hilling said Tuesday. But it’s unclear whether they’re even looking for the right type of vehicle, and if the driver knew he or she hit Ford, Hilling said.

“We have some leads,” Hilling said. “But we’re just not sure at this point.”

Investigations by the State Patrol and the Routt County Sheriff’s Office are ongoing. No one has been cited or charged with providing alcohol to Ford or other minors on the night in question, Investigator Mike Curzon said Tuesday.

“The Sheriff’s Office has a major concern about underage drinking in South Routt and the consequences of it,” Curzon said. “We take it very seriously.”

– To reach Melinda Dudley, call 871-4203

or e-mail mdudley@steamboatpilot.com