Winnebago County man gets 7 years for fatal DUI - – Rockford’s News Leader

Winnebago County man gets 7 years for fatal DUI


A 28-year-old man was sentenced to a total of 11 years for a fatal DUI that occurred in September 2012.

Christopher Hare pled guilty and was sentenced on November 19. He received seven years in prison for Aggravated Driving Under the Influence of Drugs Involving Death and four years for Criminal Damage to Government Supported Property.

Rockford police say Hare was the driver of a van that went off the road in the area of 6th Street and Prairie, crashed into a tree, and caught fire. When officers arrived on the scene, they found the dashboard area of the van to be on fire. The front seat passenger, Chad Elder, was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Hare admitted to being the van's driver and was also taken to a local hospital for injuries. Testing there showed he had opiates in his system and a crash reconstruction showed the van was going at least 66 to 70 mph at the time of the crash. The speed limit in the area is 30 mph.

Two days prior to the crash, on September 9, 2012, a green Ford Excursion belonging to the Winnebago County Coroner's Office was damaged. The left rear tire was punctured and letters were engraved in the fender above the tire. Investigation identified Hare as the person responsible. The total damage to the vehicle was $687.

Aggravated DUI Involving Death has a sentencing range of three to 13 years in prison and Hare must serve 85 percent of that sentence. Criminal Damage to Government Supported Property has a sentencing range of two to five years in prison. Hare's sentences will be served concurrently.


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