ABILENE, Texas — The Abilene Police Department responded to a major vehicle crash at approximately 1:05 p.m. Saturday, Mar. 13 at US Hwy 36 and Blackburn Road.
According to an APD news release, when officers arrived at the scene they found a pickup truck and a Dodge Challenger off the roadway. The Challenger was on fire.
Witnesses said the Challenger was traveling north on US Hwy 36 at a high rate of speed, passing vehicles on the two-lane road, according to the release.
The Challenger tried to pass the pickup truck that was headed in the same direction near the Blackburn Road intersection. A vehicle in the oncoming lane caused the Challenger to try to get back in its lane. It clipped the truck in the rear, causing it to veer off the road and hit a tree before stopping in a field.
The Challenger went off the road as well and caught fire.
The driver of the truck was identified as Mark Rogers, 39, of Abilene. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Rogers' wife and three children, 8, 10 and 11, were also in the vehicle and were taken to the hospital for treatment.
The driver of the Challenger was identified as James Wells, 59, and was also taken to the hospital. There were no passengers in his vehicle.
On behalf of the department, Chief Marcus Dudley expressed his sorrow for the loss of such a well-known community member, the release said.
“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," Dudley 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," Mayor Anthony Williams said in the release.
The APD's Traffic Division is investigating the crash.
No other information was available at the time of the release.