Skokie woman killed in I-55 wrong way crash near Springfield; driver charged with 1st degree murder

Liz Nagy Image
Friday, November 18, 2022
Skokie woman killed in I-55 wrong way crash downstate
Lauren Wegner of Skokie was killed in a wrong way crash on I-55 near Springfield. Shane Woods is charged with 1st degree murder.

SKOKIE, Ill. (WLS) -- Lauren Wegner of Skokie was killed in a wrong way crash on I-55 near Springfield on November 8; her parents said she was on her way to see friends.

Wegner had moved back to Skokie from North Carolina earlier this year and had been living with her parents since March. His father Bill Wegner tried to talk his daughter into delaying the trip to see friends in St. Louis last week.

"I'm like, 'It's going to be dark in a couple hours. Why don't you just stay home and we'll get a bite to eat,'" he said.

But reminding him, as she often did that she was 35, Wegner promised a raincheck.

"She goes 'How about when I come back. I got some days off, we'll go on one of those days. I promise!'," he said.

Wegner intended to keep that promise, but she never made it to St. Louis. Instead her parents were awoken by an Illinois State Trooper at their door.

"She comes back in and said she had a collision and didn't survive," said her mother Evelyn Wegner through tears.

According to the Sangamon County State's Attorney's office, Shane Jason Woods of Auburn was intentionally driving north in the southbound lanes on Interstate 55 in Springfield when his pickup truck slammed into Wegner's car head on.

Woods, who had previously pled guilty to assaulting a police officer and a cameraman during the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, now faces 20 to 60 years in prison in Illinois for a first degree murder charge.

"When we got the call yesterday that it was murder one we were crying happy tears," Evelyn Wegner said.

The Wegners said Woods being held in jail without bond and facing a first degree murder charge for their daughter's death eases the sting of loss, but only slightly, because it doesn't bring her back.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.