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Kit Carson Man Killed in Tragic Vehicular Accident: A Rural Community Mourns


By Betsy Barnett

January 26, 2024

According to information provided by Master Trooper Gary Cutler of the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) in an internal document, an individual was killed in rural Colorado in a terrible accident involving a pickup and semitruck with trailer.

According to the CSP report, the incident happened at 9:44 AM on Tuesday, January 23 on Highway 40 at County Road 25 in extreme eastern Colorado between the communities of Kit Carson and Cheyenne Wells when a Dodge Ram 1500 pickup traveling northbound on County Road 25 slowed at a stop sign but continued through without stopping and was struck by a Kenworth truck with trailer that was traveling eastbound on Highway 40.

The driver of the pickup was identified as Mark Hogan, 36, of Kit Carson, Colorado. Hogan was transferred to Keefe Memorial Hospital in Cheyenne Wells but expired from his injuries.

The driver of the Kenworth truck was identified as Amber Hays, 36, of Wiley, Colorado. Hays was not injured in the incident, according to Cutler.

According to the Colorado State Patrol, no drugs or alcohol were involved in the incident.


Those are the official facts of what happened this week to a young man that had given his heart and soul to the community he dearly loved—Kit Carson. But hidden in those facts are hundreds of hearts that are broken with the loss of a young father who had given so much to his family, his friends, and his community.

When something like this unspeakable tragedy happens to a really good man in a really small town it causes a tragic chain reaction of sadness that involves every person in the town.

It involves the first responders of the community, this young man’s co-workers and friends from childhood, that rushed out when the emergency call came in order to help at another awful traffic accident out on the highway, to only arrive at the scene and realize who is inside the tangled wreckage and working frantically with adrenaline in overdrive to save him.

It involves the ambulance and hospital personnel, all who of course were friends with this young man trying to save him despite injuries that were too massive to survive. They are the ones who determines his death and have to give the terrible news to the family.

It involves the school personnel who rushed to surround and comfort the beloved teacher who has lost her husband while trying to console the students in the school who are devastated for her. The school personnel now prepare for a funeral to be held in the school’s gymnasium where so many happy times have been enjoyed by the young man, his family, and his friends.

It involves his best friends, his branding buddies, his football buddies, his high school teammates who were all part of those state championships in the early 2000s.

It involves the family of the man—the wife who is involved in so many activities within the community—his two girls who are happy and free and too young to lose their daddy, and the baby boy who is not due to arrive until summertime safely growing inside his devastated mother, and the parents who love the young man dearly and should not have to outlive their son.

Yes, when a young man dies in a small town, they are the domino that drops—and the rest follows—and it becomes clear that what was reality in one moment is never the same again.

Keep this small town in your heart as they fight to pick up the dominos.

Obituary of Mark William Hogan

January 19, 1988–January 23, 2024

Mark William Hogan was born January 19, 1988, in a blizzard at home on the family ranch to James Timothy and Janice Agnes Hogan. Mark endeared himself to the Cheyenne and Kiowa County communities right away. The road crews worked all day to clear a path that finally allowed Doctor Hadley to arrive just in time to deliver Mark. His first cries were cheered by those workers waiting and warming themselves in the next room, staying to make sure Mom and Baby didn’t need further transportation. Mark was named after his cousins Mark Goodman and Zane William Pearce and William Connelly, Sr. who passed away in the same winter blizzard.

Mark was the youngest of three and was born fifteen years after his brother Richard, making his childhood akin to that of an only child after Richard left for college. His imaginary friends Dick, Bob and brother Jimmy kept him company and took the blame for many “transgressions”. He was a gregarious child making lifelong friends as soon as he started school at Kit Carson. Mark was known for his sense of humor. His teachers would comment that they wished he’d work as hard on his schoolwork as he did at being the class clown and his friend’s parents would say how much they loved his wit. His father said that “Mark kind of made cussing acceptable”. As a young boy Mark spent a lot of time with his dad Tim on the ranch, loving the way of life so much he returned home after two years at Fort Hays State University. He was always proud to have been a third-generation graduate of Kit Carson High School and he was glad that he went to college as he was able to make numerous life-long friendships there as well.

Mark was proud to be a member of Kit Carson. Mark gave back to his community by serving as a member of the Kit Carson Volunteer Fire Department for 14 years, helping with the annual KC Day rodeo and BBQ, Doing the community melodrama, helping friends with their brandings and the like, and running chains at the local high school football games. Football was a game Marked loved both playing in junior high and high school and watching both locally and Colorado’s Denver Broncos.

Mark messaged his future wife Alyssa using an online dating service in June of 2015. They messaged back and forth throughout the summer without ever meeting in person due to both of their busy schedules. They finally had their first date on October 25, 2015 after the state softball tournament, where they met at Oscar’s in Limon. The date went so well, Limon became a frequent meeting point for dates for the following year and a half. Alyssa’s first time meeting the Hogans was at a Sunday mass with Father Jason in Kit Carson. She met many of his friends a few weeks later when he took her to a Bronco game. Alyssa loved that Mark had so many friends and that the Kit Carson community was so close.

Mark was so sure of the relationship he told Alyssa he loved her in the spring of 2016. For whatever reason, Alyssa made him sweat for a couple weeks before she finally said it back before leaving for a 6-week tour of Europe. A fact he never let her live down. While she was gone, he bought the new Cody Johnson album and picked out what became their wedding song”– “With You I Am”. He sent a clip of the song to Alyssa, which is when she knew she was going to marry him.

Alyssa moved to Kit Carson in the spring of 2017 and Mark proposed November 22, 2017, in the living room of their home. They were married in Burlington, Colorado on August 4, 2018, and found out they were expecting shortly after. Mark realized he was going to be a nervous father. Clare Janice Hogan was born in Aurora, CO on April 17, 2019, and Mark confirmed that babies made him nervous. But that never stopped him from cuddling that sweet girl whenever he could. Diapers were another story. He was very excited and nervous (again) when they found out about their next baby in May of 2020. He even went so far as to threaten his friends not to tease Alyssa about her limited help during brandings as she was very early along in the pregnancy and they “weren’t telling anyone” yet. However, both were so excited that in a matter of days everyone knew.

They welcomed Hannah Elizabeth Hogan on February 2, 2021, in Aurora, CO and began a crazy busy life as a family of 4. Mark believed in providing for his family and worked tirelessly to do so. He ran his own cow/calf operation, a haying business, worked as an Operator at the Ladder Creek Helium Plant for many years, worked in the oilfields servicing pumping units and hauling water, and other odds and ends for RT. He worked so hard he was able to build a new home back on Hogan land and keep his family comfortable.

Alyssa and the girls were always so grateful for his drive, but treasured the times he was home most of all. Some of their favorite times were dancing in the living room to “good country music”, rocking on the front porch, hide and seek, and tickle fights. Mark always made time to “show his affection” through tickles, raspberries, little pinches, shoving his cold hands on their stomachs, and wedgies. When Clare asked him why he had to do those things he said it was the only way to prove how much he loved them.

Mark and Alyssa loved to travel together. They tried to take one trip a year. Mark also loved history, specifically military history and World War II. Many of their trips were planned around the tours they could take. They actually toured Pearl Harbor twice. On October 29, 2023, Mark and Alyssa found out they were expecting their third child. Just before Christmas, the doctor confirmed they would be having their first baby boy. Mark was ecstatic. He was so excited to have a little boy to raise to love football and ranching just like his dad had. They immediately began talking names on the drive home and Mark’s first suggestions were, Hank William, Merle, and Waylon as a nod to the country music he loved so much.

Mark loved to be with family, but he also loved to spend time with his friends and play gigs with the Rodeo Road Apples. He always said the band was his favorite, and only, true hobby. He found such joy in the camaraderie of the band and getting to play with his dad and had missed them so much since September of 2023 when they played their last gig. While he worked A LOT, whenever you could pull Mark away from work, he was the life of the party or he made it a party. Mark was a friend to so many. It is ironic he thought he was socially awkward, as you could argue that there wasn’t another person in Kit Carson who was part of so many different groups of friends. He was the glue to them all. The Hogan branding brought together so many people and were some of the best days of the year. Mark hated his own branding days due to the stress and worry, but he always looked forward to everyone else’s so he could tease and torment to his heart’s desire.

Mark was unbelievably humble and sometimes unsure of his place in the world and his importance to it. Something everyone who loved him will never understand. There will never be enough words to describe Mark. His mother Jan said he lived a very colorful life and that his wife and kids brought even more color to it. Alyssa smiled and mentioned he very much colored outside the lines. Mark will be missed in so many ways for a very long time.

Mark is survived by his wife Alyssa, his daughters Clare and Hannah and future son Baby Boy Hogan expected this summer, His parents Tim and Jan Hogan, sister Jamie Conaway and nephews TJ (Megan) and Tanner, brother Rich (Rebecca) Hogan and nieces Taylor and Abby, and many more family members and in-laws. Mark is preceded in death by his grandparents George and Beulah Hogan and Ed and Agnes Shade, and many other beloved family members.

The family is extremely thankful to the emergency crews and Keefe Memorial staff, who worked diligently to try and save Mark.

If anyone should want to honor Mark, the family asks donations to be directed to the Mark Hogan Memorial Fund located at any Eastern Colorado Bank location.

A Funeral Mass of Christian Burial was held on Saturday, January 27, 2024 at the Kit Carson High School. Burial followed in the Kit Carson Cemetery. Friends and family can register online condolences and sign the guestbook at www.brownfuneraldirectors.com. Visitation and funeral services have been entrusted to the care of the Brown Funeral Home.

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