FEB. 10 UPDATE: After deliberating for over 8 hours a jury has come back with a verdict in the case against a local father accused of reckless homicide in the deaths of his wife and stepson.
The jury has found Anthony Crose NOT GUILTY of reckless homicide but GUILTY of aggravated reckless driving.
We will have more on this story tonight on the 23 News Update at 10.
FEB. 10 UPDATE: WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) -- A jury has been deliberating for over 5 hours so far in the case against a local father accused of reckless homicide in the death of his wife and stepson who were killed in a high speed car crash on Christmas Eve 2011.
The prosecutions three traffic crash reconstructionists say Crose was speeding at 124 miles per hour before the accident saying he was going around 80 at the point of impact. The defense refutes that claim, arguing Crose was driving 82 miles per hour before the crash and was trying to avoid black smoke coming from a nearby truck.
Crose could face up to 17 years in prison if convicted of reckless homicide and reckless aggravated driving.
Throughout this case, experts have calculated two different speeds before and during the crash and there’s also a question as to how Crose hit the mini-van which is where the jury will need to rely on pictures and the reconstructions of the accident to decide if Crose was driving recklessly.
FEB. 7 UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) – The defense has rested in the case against a local father who is accused of reckless homicide in the death of his wife and stepson. They were killed in a high speed car crash on Christmas Eve 2011.
From math calculations to scientific formulas, all experts that have testified in this case, say this is an unusual and complicated car crash.
That’s why we’ve heard a few refuting testimonies from different traffic crash reconstructionist. Today, we heard from another expert, Richard Ruth who made his own calculations claiming 34-year-old Anthony Crose was driving 82 miles per hour at the point of impact when he crashed into a mini-van, 23 miles per hour more than what the defense expert claimed. Both sides have rested, however, before the jury can deliberate, there’s more rebuttal testimony to get through concerning the speed calculations of Crose’s vehicle.
Despite the extension due to rebuttal witnesses, the case is still expected to go to the jury for deliberation sometime on Monday.
Crose is facing charges of reckless homicide and aggravated reckless driving.
FEB. 6 UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) – A new traffic crash expert says a local father was driving no more than 85 miles per hour before he lost control of his car and crashed into a mini-van, killing his wife and stepson on Christmas Eve of 2011.
After the prosecution rested, defense witnesses took the stand today, including a traffic expert who says Anthony Crose was driving between 82 and 85 miles per hour, before losing control of his Mustang and crashing into a mini-van in 2011.
This refutes the testimony of two other traffic crash reconstructionist who claim Crose was speeding at 124 miles per hour. The defense has argued those deputies didn’t use complete measurements in figuring out that speed. Henry Vega is a forensic engineer, he also determined the speed by using a computer simulation and taking his own measurements of the scene. The defense also argues Crose was trying to avoid black smoke coming from a nearby truck.
We also heard from the driver of that green truck. He admits he saw Crose’s Mustang past him saying he believes he was traveling about 70 miles per hour while Crose was going about 80.
All three experts have testified so far and say they’ve determined the speed by using math formulas and the laws of physics. Crose faces charges of reckless homicide.
FEB. 5 UPDATE: UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) – We heard expert testimony today in the case against a local father accused of killing his wife and stepson in a fatal car crash on Christmas Eve 2011. Investigators say speed was the main factor in that accident.
A crime scene investigator says 34-year-old Anthony Crose was driving more than 100 miles per hour, causing him to lose control of his car and crash into a mini-van.
Winnebago County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Pearson reconstructed the crash. He says he determined Crose’s Mustang spiraled out of control at 124 miles per hour by using different math formulas, however the defense claims Pearson’s entire investigation isn’t credible saying he used the wrong calculations.
The defense says two other experts will take the stand to refute Pearson’s claims and prove Crose wasn’t driving that fast.
Crose faces charges of reckless homicide and aggravated reckless driving.
FEB. 4 UPDATE: WINNEBAGO (WIFR) – Opening statements began today in the trial against a local father accused of killing his wife and stepson in a high speed crash on Christmas Eve back in 2011.
Prosecutors claim 34-year-old Anthony Crose was speeding, saying that caused the fatal Christmas Eve Car Crash in 2011.
Today, we heard emotional testimony from the other driver involved in the accident. Mark Mathias, was shaken as he relived the moments before the crash, saying his wife had just asked if there were many accidents on Bypass 20.
During opening statements, prosecutors argued Anthony Crose was speeding at 124 miles per hour and weaving through traffic when he lost control of his Mustang. Police say his car crossed the grassy median and crashed into the Mathias’ van, killing Crose’s wife Dee and his then 14-year-old stepson Cole Trusler. Defense Attorneys say Crose wasn’t speeding, claiming he was distracted by black smoke from a nearby green truck. The defense says Crose was trying to avoid that truck when he lost control of his car.
Investigators say alcohol was not a factor in this accident. Crose is facing charges of reckless homicide and aggravated reckless driving.
The major issue in this trial seems to be whether speed was a factor in this accident. Prosecutors say by the time Crose hit the mini-van he was going 119 miles per hour. We’re expecting to hear from investigators who can determine how fast Crose was driving.
MAY 11 UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A Winnebago man who allegedly caused a fatal accident on Christmas Eve is behind bars tonight.
Anthony Crose has been charged with reckless homicide and aggravated reckless driving. You may recall his wife and step-son were killed when Crose lost control of his mustang on U.S. 20 back in December. The car flipped, ejecting all four passengers. Crose's daughter and two others were also injured in the accident. Crose turned himself in this morning.
ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- We have new information tonight on the Christmas Eve accident that killed a mother and son.
Investigators say the car had a black box in it that could reveal what happened before the fatal crash.
Winnebago County Sheriff Dick Meyers says the driver of the vehicle was not ejected from the car as previously thought, but his three passengers were. The driver was the husband of the deceased, 33-year-old Dea Crose. Their son, 15-year-old Cole Trussler also died. The driver and front passengers were in seatbelts. Alcohol was not involved and the crash happened on Rt. 20 about one mile east of the Alpine Road exit in Winnebago County.
Update: The two victims from Christmas Eve's fatal crash on U.S. 20 have been identified as 33 year old Dea Crose and her 15 year old son, Cole Trusler. Both are from Winnebago. Cole died overnight from his injuries.
Crose and Trusler died from injuries sustained during the accident. Neighbors are taking care of the family's home and pets while the rest of the family is in the hospital.
The Winnebago County Sheriff's office says alcohol was not a factor in the crash and the coroner says it appears the driver and front passenger were both wearing seatbelts when they were ejected from the vehicle.
The driver survived. He and his daughter remain in critical condition.
All drivers involved in the crash will be subpoenaed for more information later in the investigation.
It happened around 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon on Route 20, about one mile east of the Alpine Rd. exit in Winnebago County.
Authorities say a black Ford was heading west on Route 20 when it lost control and flipped into the eastbound lanes, hitting a silver van head on.
Three people in the Ford were ejected from the car; one died at the scene and two others were airlifted to a local hospital, where they're in critical condition. Two people in the van are in serious condition.
Police are now looking for a third vehicle, a 1996 to 2001 green Dodge Ram pick up truck with a vertical smoke stack in the bed.
"We believe this vehicle was directly in front of the accident when it occurred and at this point we don't know if maybe the vehicle was also involved or may have some sort of causation factor, so that's what we need to find out. We need to speak with them and get their side of the story," says Deputy Chief Scott Meyers with the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department.
If you have information on the vehicle described above, call the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department at 815-987-5911.
Police are not yet releasing the name of the victim, pending family notification.