A worker with the Tennessee Department of Transportation has died after being struck on the side of Interstate 40 on Christmas Eve.
James "J.R." Rogers, age 30, was hit around 7 p.m. Saturday after stopping to help a family in need. The incident happened in the westbound lanes of Interstate 40 near the Old Hickory Boulevard exit.
Rogers also worked as a football coach at Cheatham County High School. Late Wednesday night, the school tweeted, "We are grieving the loss of our coach and friend, JR Rogers. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends."
We are grieving the loss of our coach and friend, JR Rogers. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends pic.twitter.com/TjB1RYpptn
— Cheatham County High (@cheathamcubs) December 29, 2016
The roads were wet the night of the crash. Officials said driver Dennis Castellanos Moreno failed to see other vehicles slowing down where the tire was being changed.
By the time he saw Rogers, he was unable to stop quick enough and lost control.
Moreno was charged with operating a vehicle without a license and driving without insurance. He was later released on bond.
According to reports, Rogers was changing a flat on a Honda Pilot. The driver of the Pilot, identified as 60-year-old Marvin Mooney, of Etowah, had been holding a flashlight for Rogers. However, authorities said Rogers told Mooney to get back in the Pilot for his own safety moments before Rogers was hit.
Rogers was survived by a 5-year-old son.
Friends and athletes hoped they could help Rogers’ family with any expenses insurance won’t cover. For details on the fund, visit GoFundMe.com.