ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Community leader and a well-known Abilenean Mark Rogers was pronounced dead at the scene of a crash reported Saturday afternoon.

Mark Rogers, 39, was pronounced deceased at the scene of the crash. 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. 

According to the Abilene Police Department, On Saturday, March 13, 2021, at approximately 1:05 pm, they 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.

According to the APD, 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 Dodge Challenger was also transported to the hospital. He was the sole occupant.

Authorities say the crash is still under investigation and additional information may be released at a later time as it comes available.

Mark Rogers was a community leader in the Key City where he was the Market President of the Big Brothers Big Sisters non-profit, Senior vice president of World’s Okayest Mom Inc., and a board member in United Way of Abilene and the Kiwanis Club.

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.”

Pierce Bush, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star and loving friend of Mark’s released the following statement:

Mark Rogers was a one-of-a-kind human being in every possible way. He was a constant bright light who brought nothing but joy to those he met and to our entire Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star organization. Mark was uniquely full of talent, funny, charismatic, thoughtful, generous, and inspiring  – he was the very essence of a servant leader and we were all blessed by his leadership and his friendship.

The minute I met Mark in the summer of 2016, when he was referred by an Abilene Board member to be our leader as Market President in Abilene and West Central Texas, I genuinely felt God was giving us a nod and a wink by connecting our mission’s path with Mark’s unique mission and purpose on this earth.  I left our dinner meeting that night and felt that our organization would always be better if we could really hire Mark to lead our team and efforts in the community.  I also felt I would be better personally by knowing and serving with Mark.  Both were true beyond any imaginable measure that evening and as time went by our entire team’s appreciation and love of Mark Rogers grew deeper and deeper.

Mark served Big Brothers Big Sisters with distinction and created a culture of excellence and care for his team and our Abilene Board which led to substantial growth of our programs, in terms of kids served, and finances in Abilene to help us achieve it.  Thousands of children in Abilene benefited through our mission because of how Mark poured himself into it every single day.  He created a warm, family-like environment in our Abilene office which we tried to emulate across other parts of our Lone Star agency, hosting what he called “coffee talks” and making every person he interacted with feel as if they were the most important person in the room.  Mark had a knack for shining goodness on others and making them feel special.  On trips into Abilene, it became clear that everyone in the community knew and loved Mark.  I always felt like we had the unofficial Mayor of Abilene leading the charge for our agency.

Just this morning I opened up a Birthday card which Mark mailed me via snail mail (He loved to send people notes and gifts for their birthday and was truly the best at this!)  The thought crossed my mind, like it has many times before, how lucky are we to have a leader and friend like Mark?  He truly is irreplaceable.

Our entire agency mourns the loss of this incredible, good man.  Our team will do everything we can to support the woman he loved, Jenn, and his children Haelyn, Hope, and Hunter. Mark’s legacy with Big Brothers Big Sisters will live forever in the spirit of our mission and the young lives he changed through his leadership, and in the staff team whom will never be the same because of how Mark lived and led.

Pierce Bush, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star