MILWAUKEE — Julius “Bud” Rodgers, the man struck in a hit-and-run Friday, Jan.31 near 46th Street and Burleigh, has died from his injuries, a family member told FOX6 News.
Rodgers’ son, Dana Willis-Rodgers, said his father died late Saturday night, Feb. 15. He was 57 years old.
Police were called to the scene around 5:45 p.m. on Jan. 31 where they located Julius Rodgers — who was taken to the hospital to be treated for a host of critical injuries including “bleeding on the brain, fractured skull, 2 spinal fractures and fractures to both of his legs.”
Days after the crash, a 50-year-old man was charged in connection in connection with the (now-fatal) hit-and-run. According to a criminal complaint, Jerome Ealy struck Rodgers while he was in the roadway. Video showed a car strike Rodgers and flee the scene without stopping, checking on Rodgers or providing anyone their information. Debris from the car was left behind at the scene.
Police say a citizen witness saw the incident — and followed the suspect vehicle.
40 minutes after the crash, officers found the damaged car near 37th and Fond du Lac. There, officers found Ealy and had to wake him up — he “smelled of alcohol and appeared intoxicated.” The complaint says Ealy failed field sobriety tests.
Ealy later admitted to police to driving the car, and said he had been drinking at his aunt’s house. According to the complaint, he stated he wasn’t sure what he hit — thought it might have been a dog — and that he said he didn’t see anything, so he then drove to a liquor store and then home. He then sat in his Cadillac and drank before falling asleep in his vehicle.
At a vigil held for Rodgers on Feb. 2, friends of Rodgers felt “sad and angry.” They said he was “very friendly” and “just a nice person.”
Ealy is due back in court Monday, Feb. 17 for an indigency hearing.