Widow of I-40 hit-and-run victim hopes to bring driver to justice

Donald Rogers
Leanne Rogers and her husband Donald (Courtesy: Leanne Rogers)

LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) – The widow of a man killed in a hit-and-run crash on Interstate 40 is asking for the public’s help to find the driver responsible.

Donald Rogers died in the Lebanon crash Feb. 27.

He and his wife Leanne were driving eastbound on I-40 after a family dinner when witnesses say a truck hit the couple’s car.

The impact forced them off the road around 8:45 p.m., causing them to crash.

“I remember the seatbelt grabbing me and the first impact, then the second impact I think was a rock,” she said. “When I hit that I thought, ‘Okay, Lord this is it I’m gone.”

Donald died at the scene; Leanne was flown via LifeFlight to Vanderbilt.

The driver responsible kept going.

“That driver killed my husband and I am going to get justice for him,” Leanne said. “My husband was my hero and would do anything to help others.”

Donald was a decorated 20-year veteran of the Air Force. He also worked as a firefighter for 10 years and for OSHA.

“He was a great man and didn’t deserve to die like that,” his wife told News 2.

Leanne suffered multiple broken ribs and vertebrae. She also had bleeding on the brain as a result of the crash.

She was released from the hospital Wednesday, nearly three weeks after the accident.

She faces between six to eight weeks of physical and occupational therapy.

“Why would you do this and just leave the scene and not come back to check on somebody if you hit somebody?” Rogers asked. “I truly believe they were drunk or they didn’t care and they killed my husband.”

She continued, “I don’t want this to ever happen to anyone else ever again.”

Witnesses said the truck was red and possibly a Dodge Ram 1500 with temporary tags.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol confirmed to News 2 Thursday that the suspect vehicle was found in Davidson County March 7.

A witness recognized the vehicle description and called police. There have not been any charges filed yet and the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information about the driver who caused the wreck should contact the THP at 615-741-2060.

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