URBANA — A Rantoul man is in police custody on charges that he failed to report to police a crash that killed a friend with whom he was allegedly drag racing in June.

A warrant had been issued earlier this week for the arrest of Justin T. Shields, 21, who listed an address in the 400 block of Phillips Drive, after the state’s attorney filed charges of failure to report a fatal accident and aggravated street racing.

Shields was arrested by a state trooper Wednesday morning.

The charges stem from a late-night crash June 12 that claimed the life of Scott Boyne, 34, of Rantoul.

A report from Illinois State Police said troopers found a crashed Dodge Charger on U.S. 136, just west of Champaign County Road 2400 East, about 11 p.m. that Sunday.

Troopers initially thought that Mr. Boyne lost control for an unknown reason, hit an embankment, and the car went airborne, expelling Mr. Boyne in the process.

However, police received a tip later in June from a person who said Shields was driving a rented black Ford sport utility vehicle and that he had a passenger with him who saw what happened.

Interviewed by police, that passenger said he had been in the SUV with Shields as it drove alongside Mr. Boyne’s Charger going west on U.S. 136 doing about 120 mph.

The report said Mr. Boyne had gone off the road on the right as he raced with Shields and was trying to get back onto the road. However, Shields, who was beside him, would not move to the opposite lane, slow down or speed up enough to allow Mr. Boyne to get back on the highway.

The report said Mr. Boyne then reportedly veered left to avoid hitting a culvert, and his car collided with the SUV that Shields was driving.

Police said Shields stopped briefly after the collision but then left.

If convicted of failure to report an accident involving death, Shields faces penalties ranging from probation to one to 15 years in prison. Conviction of aggravated street racing is a Class 4 felony but has penalties ranging from probation to one to 12 years in prison.

Shields is being held in lieu of $10,000 and is expected to make a court appearance Thursday.


Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is mschenk@news-gazette.com, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).

Trending Videos