SANGAMON COUNTY, IL — An Illinois man who pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer and a news photographer during the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol is now being charged in connection with a fatal accident in the area, according to authorities indicted by Springfield.
Shane J. Woods, 44, of Auburn, is charged with first-degree murder, two counts of serious drink-driving resulting in death, two counts of serious drink-driving and aggravated flight and flight from a peace officer, court documents say.
According to the police, the accident happened shortly after 7:30 p.m. on November 8th. Woods had been stopped by an officer along Interstate 55 in Divernon but fled and traveled north against southbound traffic, authorities said.
Woods’ 2018 GMC Sierra struck a 2008 Mercury Sable and a 2017 Toyota Corolla near Exit 88 and rolled over, according to police, who said a semi-trailer drove through the scene and was damaged by debris. Lauren Wegner, a 35-year-old from Clayton, North Carolina, was driving the Mercury and was killed, authorities said.
A 54-year-old Granite City woman who was a passenger in the Toyota suffered a concussion, bleeding in the brain, a fractured spine and cuts to her face that required stitches, officials said. The driver of the Toyota, a 61-year-old man from Granite City, suffered broken bones, severe bruises and lacerations, authorities said.
Woods also suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to police. His blood alcohol concentration after the crash was 0.177, more than double the legal limit, court documents said.
Before the accident, Woods told the officer who pulled him that he was “more dead than alive,” and afterward, Woods was heard by a state police officer who said he “intended to crash his vehicle into a semi-truck.” according to court records.
Woods was booked into the Sangamon County Jail on Friday and has since been denied bail because he poses a threat to himself and others, court filings say.
He pleaded guilty in September to allegations that he rammed a police officer while she was chasing someone who had sprayed her with chemical on the afternoon of January 6 and that he later attempted to capture a news photographer from bumping his feet, according to previous reports. He is scheduled to be sentenced in federal proceedings on January 13.
His next court date for the charges related to the Sangamon County crash is November 28. His attorney Daniel Noll did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday afternoon.