One of two truck drivers who died in a multiple-vehicle collision in Wisconsin Thursday, June 20, is being called a hero by police and fondly remembered by his family.
Forty-year-old Kenneth Rogers, a driver for the Piggly Wiggly grocery chain, died when he maneuvered his truck to avoid hitting three cars and another tractor-trailer involved in the original crash in a construction zone on Interstate 90/41 near Racine, Wisconsin. Rogers’ truck left the interstate and crashed onto the frontage road below and caught fire.
Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said of Rogers in a press briefing Thursday afternoon, “He turned off the roadway, rather than crashing into three other vehicles and a semi. I would suggest to you that that is very heroic.”
Members of Rogers’ family held a vigil Thursday evening.
“He put a lot of people before him,” Rogers’ niece, Iesha Rogers, said. “He helped a lot of people before he helped himself.”
The collision, which occurred at about 11 a.m., began when a southbound tractor-trailer struck a concrete construction barrier, shoving it into northbound lanes where it was struck by three cars. Rogers was in the northbound lanes and swerved to miss those three cars and the other truck, the driver of which died.
The identity of the other trucker has yet to be made public.