Auburn Man Charged in Fatal Crash Denied Bail

By Jeremy Coumbes on November 17, 2022 at 3:56pm

A Sangamon County judge has denied bail for an Auburn man accused of first-degree murder following a four-vehicle crash on Interstate 55 last week.

More information has become available on the crash that claimed the life of a 35-year-old North Carolina woman and sent three others, including the defendant, to the hospital last Tuesday.

According to a written order by Sangamon County Associate Judge Karen Tharp this morning, 44-year-old Shane Jason Woods of Auburn was denied bail because according to Tharp, “the defendant poses a real and present threat to the physical safety to himself and all persons he may encounter if he is released before standing trial.”

On Wednesday a Sangamon County grand jury returned a 6-count indictment against Woods on felony charges of first-degree murder, aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol resulting in death, aggravated driving under the influence causing great boldly harm, and aggravated fleeing and eluding a peace officer.

According to details contained in the order, Woods was identified at the scene of the crash by a Divernon police officer as the driver of the 2018 GMC truck driving northbound in the southbound lanes of I-55.

According to a report by a Divernon Police Officer who conducted a traffic stop on Woods’ truck prior to the crash, Woods made numerous statements indicating that he wanted to end his own life.

The officer alleges that after being asked to step out of the truck, Woods started the vehicle and fled the scene. The officer says he witnessed the truck turn and travel the wrong way on the interstate before then seeing a ball of fire from the southbound lanes.

Woods also stated while being transported to Springfield Memorial Hospital by Illinois State Police, that he had intended on crashing his vehicle into a semi-truck. While at the hospital Woods had a blood alcohol level of .177, more than twice the legal limit.

Judge Tharp said due to Woods’ claims of intent to hurt himself, and that the new offenses were committed while he awaits sentencing in federal court, he was to be remanded to the Sangamon County Jail without bail pending trial. Woods pleaded guilty on September 9th to charges of assaulting a Capitol Police Officer during the January 6th riot in Washington D.C.

He is scheduled for sentencing in that case on January 13th.