Father reflects on losing son, Daniel Rauner, in N. Alpine car crash

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Updated: Jan. 25, 2019, 8:30 p.m.

Through tears, Micheal Rauner recounts how his 38-year-old son Daniel tragically lost his life in a crash earlier this week.

"Some young man comes flying up on Alpine heading north," Michael said. "The speed was so high a gentlemen that witnessed it said he just about left the ground with the car."

Daniel was pronounced dead at the scene Monday morning when his SUV was rear-ended on N. Alpine Road. Joshua Thomas was arrested for charges of reckless homicide and aggravated DUI involving death connected to the crash.

Rauner says the news left Daniel's wife, Ana, broken. The two were about to start a family of their own.

"She's devastated, she was robbed," Michael said. "They were trying to have kids, that'll never happen. My wife and I will never have grandchildren from him. "

Since Daniel touched the lives of so many, his family wants to make sure all of them can pay their respects.

"We had to shop for a place that was big enough because I know there'll be a flood and so does his wife. And our phone has just been ringing off the wall," Michael said. "He's going to be very missed, very missed."

Daniel's visitation and funeral services will be held Feb. 1 and Feb. 2. Both will be open to the public.

Anna has started a GoFundMe for Daniel Rauner's funeral expenses. If you would like to support the family, you can visit the GoFundMe here​.


Updated: Jan. 23, 2019, 11: 55 a.m.

Daniel Rauner, 38, of Rockford has been identified as the victim killed in a car crash on N. Alpine Road on Monday morning.

According to the Winnebago County Coroner's Office, the preliminary cause if death is blunt force trauma to the head per an autopsy.

The Rockford Police Department continues to investigate the death.


Updated: Jan. 22, 2019, 11:40 a.m.

A Rockford man faces several charges, including reckless homicide, after a 38-year-old man was killed in a car crash on N. Alpine Road on Monday morning.

Joshua Thomas is charged with reckless homicide, aggravated DUI involving death and aggravated DUI involving great bodily harm.

Police say the accident happened around 12:45 a.m. in the 1200 block of N. Alpine Road. Investigators say speeding and alcohol were factors in the accident with Thomas considered at-fault.

The driver of an SUV, rear-ended in the crash, a 38-year-old Rockford man, was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger in the car at-fault is being treated for life-threatening injuries in a hospital.

Thomas was taken to Winnebago County Jail. He is considered innocent unless proven guilty by the court of law.


Published: Jan. 21, 2019, 7:30 a.m.

A 38-year old man is killed after a two-car crash early Monday morning in Rockford.

Around 12:45 a.m. Monday, Rockford Police officers responded to a two-vehicle accident in the 1200 block of North Alpine Road. Upon their arrival, officers learned the male driver of a silver car was traveling northbound on North Alpine Road when he rear ended a gray sport utility vehicle which was also northbound on Alpine Road.The driver of the gray SUV was pronounced deceased at the scene. His name and age are not being released pending family notification.

The passenger in the silver car was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. The driver of the car was also hospitalized, but sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

The initial investigation shows that speed was likely a factor in the accident. North Alpine Road will be shut down for the next several hours between Guilford and Highcrest roads as the Rockford Police Department’s Traffic Reconstruction team investigates.