Tennessee: TDOT worker dies from injuries after being hit on I-40

The fiancé of James “J.R.” Rogers said they had just bought a puppy and were talking about starting a wedding planning business before he was hit and killed on Christmas Eve.Rachael Cunningham is still in shock after Rogers passed away Wednesday night at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She and others expected the 30-year-old father to recover, though they knew it would be a lengthy process. The TDOT help truck driver was hit on Interstate 40 West near the Hermitage exit on Christmas Eve while helping a family change a flat tire. “When he got to Vanderbilt that night, he was awake,” Cunningham told News 2. “Then yesterday morning, the doctor told us his condition was changing. Even the doctor told us he didn’t expect for it to change so quickly.”

Cunningham and Rogers were together for three years. They considered each other engaged, but he had not yet officially proposed. “Last night some people came over and they told me about his plan for the proposal,” Cunningham said. “We bought a house together in August because we wanted to have a home for us before we got married.”

Rogers was the father of a 5-year-old son and a beloved member of the Cheatham County Community and coached football part time at Cheatham Central High School. “I used to laugh because I could not go anywhere with him without someone stopping him to talk,” Cunningham said. “We have so much support coming in from family, friends, and others; it’s amazing.”

Metro police arrested Dennis Castellanos-Moreno for driving without a license and failure to provide proof of insurance. He is currently out on $5,000 bond.  But in light of Rogers’ death, charges against him could be upgraded by the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office.

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