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Funeral for Lakewood Ranch students set for Saturday

EAST MANATEE -- The funeral for two Lakewood Ranch High School students killed in a car crash Christmas night has been set for noon Saturday at Bayside Community Church, 15800 S.R. 64 E.

“It’s going to be a dual celebration of life for Josh and Brett,” said Curt Brown, Josh’s uncle.

At about 9:25 p.m. Dec. 25, Josh Rogers was driving with his best friend, Brett Wagner, when a four-door Nissan pulled out from a stop sign at Rye Road and struck Rogers’ truck, causing it to roll several times.

They were both ejected and suffered head trauma, family members said.

A third passenger in the truck, Wagner’s cousin, Terron Sanders, was wearing a seat belt in the front seat next to Rogers and survived the accident with minor injuries. Rogers and Wagner were not wearing seatbelts, FHP said.

Wagner died Sunday night and Rogers died Tuesday.

Family members said the two boys were inseparable for 13 years.

When they were little boys, Wagner and Rogers played flag football for the East Manatee Bulldogs.

The best friends later played football and wrestled for Lakewood Ranch High School.

Both teenagers were organ donors, family members said.

Burial or cremation details are undecided for Rogers. Wagner will be cremated.

A Josh Rogers Memorial Fund has been set up at Fifth Third Bank, 6601 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, to help Gena and Jerome Rogers, Josh’s parents, with medical expenses. Checks may indicate “Josh Rogers Memorial Fund.”

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