LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — To his parents, Gage Rogerson was not your average 16-year old.
Described as an “old soul,” the teenager was somebody his father relied on when things got difficult.
“His whole life if I go back and look at it for the 16 years I had, with that being an old soul…it seemed like every move that he made was intentional,” said Greg Rogerson.
Gage loved both playing and analyzing sports, his father said.
“He had a knack for keeping up with all the statistics, from baseball, soccer, to hockey, football, volleyball. He wanted to be a sportscaster if he didn’t make it in the NFL or the NBA,” Greg Rogerson added.
The teen was about to start his sophomore year at Tenoroc High School, his parents said.
He spent Wednesday night with his friends.
“Two best friends took their girlfriends out on a double date. It was his first love,” said Rogerson.
But after dropping one of the girls off, their love stories ended in tragedy.
Lakeland police say a 16-year old girl was driving the teens northbound on U.S. Highway 98 North around 10:30 p.m., when the car she was driving hit a pickup truck that was taking a left.
According to police, it appears the car carrying the teens was traveling at a high rate of speed.
The two vehicles careened into the Northtowne Square, where they hit a third car that was pulling out of the plaza.
“The driver of the teen vehicle was extricated from the vehicle and transported to Lakeland Regional Health where she was pronounced deceased. The two remaining passengers were pronounced deceased at the scene,” said Officer Stephanie Kerr, a Lakeland police spokesperson.
Police say the people in their other vehicles sustained minor injuries.
“While it does appear that speed is a factor, this investigation is very early on and our traffic homicide investigators continue to investigate all the evidence,” said Officer Kerr.
News Channel 8 is not sharing the names of the two other teenagers who died without permission from their families.
“Everybody he made himself known to, he brightened their life. He’s the person you wanted around in a bad scenario because he always would keep you happy with a smile and now I’m gonna be smiling less because that spirit is not with us,” Rogerson said about his son Gage.