Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Man sentenced to prison for deadly crash

ROCKFORD — A man involved in a fatal traffic crash has been sentenced to more than a dozen years in prison.

Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato announced Thursday that Christopher DaShawn Smith, 41,  was sentenced to a total of 13 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections by Judge Ronald White. He’ll also be on parole for two years.

Smith was found guilty of reckless homicide and aggravated fleeing to elude after a bench trial in July 2017.

In November 2015, Rockford Police officers attempted to pull over a vehicle driven by Smith for a traffic offense. Smith fled, driving across all lanes of traffic before crashing into the woods along the 2400 block of North Central Avenue. Smith and his passenger, James Smith, had to be extricated from the vehicle.

James Smith was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy determined his cause of death to be asphyxia caused by the vehicle crash. A reconstruction of the crash determined that the vehicle was traveling at least 71 miles per hour and failed to brake before it crashed.

Reckless homicide is a Class 3 felony punishable two to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Smith was eligible for an extended term of two to 10 years under state statute.

Aggravated fleeing is a Class 4 felony with a sentencing range of one to six years. Smith will be required to serve 50 percent of his sentence. The terms will run concurrently. R.

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