ABILENE, TX – On Saturday, March 13, 2021, at approximately 1:05 pm, the Abilene Police Department responded to a major vehicle crash on Highway 36 at Blackburn Rd.
Upon arrival at the scene, officers discovered a white truck and a dark Dodge Challenger off the roadway. The Challenger had ignited and was on fire.
Witnesses say the Dodge Challenger was traveling north on Highway 36 at a high rate of speed, passing vehicles on the two-lane road. It approached a white truck headed in the same direction near the Blackburn Road intersection and was attempting to pass it. Another vehicle was in the oncoming lane, causing the driver of the Challenger to attempt to get back into its lane. It clipped the white truck in the rear causing it to veer off the roadway, striking a tree before coming to rest in a field. The Challenger also ended up off the roadway and ignited.
The driver of the truck, 39-year-old Mark Rogers, well-known Abilenean, was pronounced deceased at the scene. The truck was occupied by his wife, Jennifer, their 8-year-old son, 10-year-old, and 11-year-old daughters, who were transported to the hospital and are being treated.
The driver of the Dodge Challenger, 50-year-old James Wells, was also transported to the hospital. He was the sole occupant.
This investigation is being conducted by officers from the Abilene Police Department’s Traffic Division. Additional information may be released at a later time as it becomes available.
On behalf of the Department, Chief Marcus Dudley expressed his sorrow for the loss of such a well-known community member. “Mark was one of the first community members to welcome me to the Department and to the City. This devastating loss will be felt throughout the community.”
Mayor Anthony Williams said, “Mark was the very definition of a servant leader, and I know his death will be hard to understand. Please join me in praying for his family and the community as we collectively process this profound loss.”
Public Information Coordinator