3 Teen-Agers Killed, Lions’ Rogers Injured in Michigan Car Accident

Associated Press

Three teen-agers were killed and Detroit Lions defensive end Reggie Rogers suffered a broken neck in a car wreck shortly before 2 a.m. Thursday, police said.

Kelly Ess, 18, and his brother, Dale Ess, 17, of Versailles, Mo., were pronounced dead at an intersection where their car was struck broadside by Rogers’ Jeep.

Their cousin, Kenneth Willet, 19, of Drayton Plains, Mich., who was driving the car, died 10 hours later at Pontiac Osteopathic Hospital, Dr. Robert Aranosian said.

Rogers, who was listed in serious condition, will be hospitalized for at least a week, Aranosian said. He added that Rogers’ thumb was also badly cut at the first joint, “but we sewed it up.”


A passenger in Rogers’ car was also hospitalized; no information was released on that person’s identity or condition.

Although no tickets were issued at the scene, the accident is under investigation, police Sgt. Cornelius McLaurin said.

Rogers, 24, who was drafted in the first round by the Lions in 1987, was placed on injured reserve after he injured an ankle 2 weeks ago in a game against the San Francisco 49ers. He was expected to be out for 2 more weeks.

Last year, Rogers was placed on reserve status for about a month because of personal problems and to receive counseling.


Rogers’ brother, former UCLA and Cleveland Browns safety Don Rogers, died in 1986 of a cocaine overdose.