Every conversation Tracy Rogers had with her son, Vance Lee Rogers, ended with them saying “I love you” to each other.
That was how they parted on a Friday evening in mid-September when he left her home. It was the day before 40-year-old Vance Rogers died.
“That is my one consolation,” said 77-year-old Tracy Rogers of the last time she saw her son alive. “I would have chained him here if I knew it was going to happen.”
At 9:47 p.m. on Sept. 12, Vance Rogers was walking home after having a few drinks at a bar across the street from his apartment complex, Las Vegas police said. As he was crossing Boulder Highway, he was hit by a car traveling north near Dalhart Avenue, south of Sahara Avenue.
Police said the only witness to the fatal collision saw a dark-colored car strike the man at a high rate of speed. Vance Rogers was thrown under the car.
A shoe went flying over the head of the witness, police said. The car stopped briefly after the accident and then quickly sped off.
The witness could not supply information on the vehicle’s license plate or identify the type of car, police said. And a security camera from the apartment complex couldn’t provide that data.
After chasing a number of leads that went nowhere, Las Vegas police Detective Rich Tusko suspended the case late last month. Tusko said Vance Rogers was at fault for having jaywalked across the highway, but that does not change the nature of the driver’s crime.
The investigation report will be available to the victim’s mother soon, he said.
But a stack of documents stamped “case closed” won’t provide Tracy Rogers with closure.
“He needs to have justice done for him,” she said. “It was a felony hit-and-run. I’m sure someone had to see something.”
She said she thinks police will reopen the case if they get another lead.
“Maybe someone will get a conscience,” she said. “Or maybe someone will get drunk and start spouting off. Someone knows something.”
Tracy and Buddy Rogers had three children, but Vance Rogers was the only one who still lived in Las Vegas.
The children were raised in Laguna Hills, Calif., and Vance Rogers was the “baby” in the family, his mother said. He sometimes got into trouble, but it was never serious.
The family moved to Las Vegas in the 1980s. Vance Rogers got a job as a casino card dealer in 1991.
He was a great dealer, she said, but had trouble saving money. And although he was involved in a long-term relationship, he never married, she said.
“It’s too bad because I would have loved to have grandchildren from him,” she said.
Tracy Rogers described her youngest child as a great son. When his father suffered a mild stroke in 2004, Vance Rogers moved in to take care of the day-to-day chores.
Even before that happened, Vance Rogers would often stop by his parents’ home with groceries or offer to take his mother out to lunch.
Because she has limited mobility and has used a scooter for several years, she relied on her son to take her places.
“He did everything for us that he could do and more,” she said. “He was a very loving son, I can’t even begin to tell you.”
Tracy Rogers said she won’t be able to truly accept her son’s death without knowing who is responsible for it. That won’t change the fact that he is gone, but it will give her some peace, she said.
“I’m not a young kid anymore,” Tracy Rogers said. “I’d like to see justice for my son, before my day comes.”
Contact reporter Mike Blasky at mblasky @reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0283.