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Charges against driver accused of fleeing fatal accident scene

ShannD. Hill

Shannon D. Hill

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Updated: April 22, 2013 12:05PM

Multiple felony charges have been filed against the driver of a car who authorities say fled the scene after a crash last September near Burlington, leaving one of his passengers dead and another seriously injured.

A Kane County grand jury this week returned an indictment charging Shannon Hill, 18, of Elgin, with failure to report an accident involving death, failure to report an accident involving personal injury, two counts of aggravated DUI, reckless homicide, DUI, speeding more than 40 mph over the speed limit and improper lane usage.

The Kane County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday that a warrant for Hill’s arrest has been issued and that it is asking for the public’s help in locating him. Hill’s last known address was 48 Poplar Creek Drive, Apt. C, Elgin. Bond on the charges was set at $100,000, sheriff’s police said.

According to reports, Hill was driving a 2007 Lincoln MKZ early the morning of Sept. 2, 2012, when it went off Plank Road west of Engel Road, rolled over several times and struck a tree.

The crash killed Lawrence Echols, 17, of Elgin and seriously injured Shadontre Smith, 19, of South Elgin. Both had been riding in the back seat of the car, deputies said.

According to authorities, Hill, then 17, and front-seat passenger Jamiah Harrison, also 17 and of Elgin, fled the crash on foot, showing up about 10 hours later at Sherman Hospital in Elgin, which is some 15 miles from the crash site.

Witness statements appearing in an affidavit requesting a search warrant said the car had been traveling at more than 100 mph, passing other vehicles and weaving across lanes just before the crash.

Witnesses told deputies that music was blaring loudly from the overturned car and that Echols’ body was trapped partly underneath it when they came upon the scene.

The witnesses said Hill and Harrison already were standing outside the car. They said Hill told them, “I screwed up bad” or “I messed up bad.” They said Hill reached into the car, switched off the music, took an unknown object out of the glove box, and walked away with Harrison after hearing that the witnesses had called 911.

According to the affidavit, staffers in the Condell Medical Center emergency room in Libertyville where Smith was flown afterward found marijuana in his clothing, and that an assistant coroner found 7 grams of marijuana in plastic bags stuffed into the underpants of the deceased Echols.

Anyone with information on Hill’s whereabouts is asked to call 911 or sheriff’s detectives at 630-444-1103.

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