Rockford, Illinois News

Rockford man sentenced to 10 years in prison for fatal DUI crash

ROCKFORD — A Rockford man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday for a drunk driving collision that left one person dead.

Joshua Stephen Thomas, 27, was driving a Hyundai Sonata near the 1200 block of North Alpine Road at around 12:43 a.m., Jan. 21, 2019, when he slammed into the back of a Jeep Patriot. The Patriot flipped over and the Hyundai hit a tree and started on fire. Thomas ran from the scene and was later apprehended by officers. The driver of the Jeep, 38-year-old Daniel Rauner, died.

An accident reconstructionist determined that the Hyundai was traveling 115.2 mph when he hit the Jeep. The posted speed limit is 40 mph.

Thomas was taken to the hospital where it was determined that his blood alcohol content was in excess of 0.16, double the legal limit. He later pleaded guilty to aggravated driving with an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or More in blood or breath involving death, a Class 2 felony with a sentencing range of three to 14 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Thomas will have to serve at least 85% of his sentence.

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