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Rockford man sentenced to 10 years in jail for fatal drunk driving crash

A Pontotoc County woman is dead after a crash Sunday afternoon.
A Pontotoc County woman is dead after a crash Sunday afternoon.(KXII)
Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 8:37 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - 27-year-old Joshua Stephen Thomas has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for causing a fatal crash which killed one person and sent another to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The crash occurred on North Alpine road on January 20, 2019. Police say Thomas was under the influence of alcohol when the silver Hyundai Sonata he was driving at 115.2 miles per hour crashed with a gray Jeep Patriot SUV driven by 38-year-old Daniel Rauner.

Police say after his car hit a tree and started on fire, Thomas ran from the scene and was later arrested. Rauner died from injuries suffered in the crash.

Thomas was later determined to have a blood alcohol content of excess of .16, double the legal limit. Thomas’s passenger, Anthony Rivera, suffered internal bleeding and a compound fracture to his right leg.

Thomas was convicted of the charge of Aggravated Driving with an Alcohol Concentration of .08 or More in Blood or Breath Involving Death.

Following his sentence, Thomas is required to have 2 years of mandatory supervised release.

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