Skokie Woman’s Family Files Wrongful Death Suit in Wrong Way I-55 Crash Involving Jan. 6 Rioter from Auburn

By Benjamin Cox on October 23, 2023 at 6:11am

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office, the Divernon Police Department, the village of Divernon, and multiple officers over a wrong-way crash on I-55 near Springfield that resulted in a woman’s death.

WICS Newschannel 20 reports that the estate of Laura Wegner of Skokie, the woman killed in the crash, is seeking $50,000 plus costs and other damages in the suit.

Wegner was killed when her vehicle was struck head on by a truck driven by Shane Jason Woods of Auburn. Woods was driving to escape police and allegedly attempting to commit suicide after being pulled over in a driving under the influence stop in Divernon.

According to the court filing, Woods had an interaction with an officer from the Divernon Police Department on the afternoon of November 8, 2022 after the officer had pulled over Woods for speeding. The officer ordered Woods out of the vehicle after allegedly smelling alcohol on Woods’ breath. Woods was still under indictment by the Washington D.C. Federal Court for his role in the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The officer told Woods that he may face up to a decade in prison due to the compounding crimes. Woods is then said to have uttered suicide ideation and became emotionally unstable. The Divernon Officer then radioed for backup from the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office. Upon arrival from a sheriff’s deputy, Woods took off in his truck and a pursuit by the officers began.

Woods then drove his truck up the I-55 southbound exit ramp traveling north head-on into southbound traffic on I-55. While being pursued, Woods drove his vehicle head-on into Wegner’s vehicle causing it to be engulfed in flames. Wegner was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Woods remains in the Sangamon County Jail on first degree murder and a slough of major traffic charges awaiting trial. Woods was sentenced to 4 ½ years in federal prison for his role in the January 6th attacks earlier this month.