‘Recovery vigil’ held at ND Grotto for injured South Bend motorcyclist

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 12:54 AM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Ten days ago, South Bend resident Mike Rogers, Sr. was critically injured in a motorcycle crash on the city’s northeast side.

On Sunday evening, his loved ones gathered at the Grotto at Notre Dame to comfort one another, pray, and raise awareness for motorcycle safety.

“We came to the Grotto today so we can support my husband Mike and his recovery,” said Neda Rogers, the wife of Mike Rogers.

Mike Rogers’ family says that the 35-year-old husband, father of 4, and small business owner will never be the same and that “looking twice” could’ve prevented this tragedy.

Rogers was riding his motorcycle on the afternoon of Sept. 7 near the intersection of Ironwood Drive and Edison Road and heading to see a friend when the accident happened.

“Last Thursday, he was struck by an SUV heading southbound on Ironwood, and he remains in critical condition right now at the ICU,” Rogers said.

His injuries include a left-side brain bleed, collapsed right lung, broken pelvis, extensive knee and leg injuries, and had to have his right foot amputated.

Friends and family call him “one of the best among us,” and they hope to spread awareness to prevent future tragedies from happening.

“Even if it takes a double-second to look over your shoulder or in your blind spot, or wherever you need to make sure that nobody is there in that split second, whether it is a motorcycle or a car, it can bring somebody’s dad, somebody’s brother, somebody’s mom, aunt, uncle, home at the end of the day,” Rogers said.

Of the nearly hundred people who attended the vigil, around a third wore a shirt with a specific slogan, “Look twice, save a life,” and looking twice really can save a life and a family from devastating heartbreak.

“The slogan hits me personally because of the people that watched the incident occur on Saturday,” Rogers said. “The last view that my husband had before he was struck was that he was smiling, and the sun was hitting his face, and he had his music loud, and he was doing a steady, swift cruise down Ironwood, and a second look would’ve definitely brought him home at night.

A member of the Ruff Riders lifestyle group, many who attended the vigil wore shirts that said #MahijaStrong. “Mahija” is Mike’s native name and his moniker in the Ruff Riders.

Rogers’ family says they plan to hold a fundraiser in November for Mike, and the WNDU family wishes him a speedy and complete recovery.

Rogers and his wife own Rogers Brothers Helping Hands remodeling.

Mike is a father of 4 children, ages 10, 5, 2, and 11 months old.