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Rockford Man Pleads Guilty to Felony Charges in Double Fatal Crash

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The man who was behind the wheel of a rollover crash that left two men dead has pleaded guilty to several felony charges according to the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office. 

Michael Rankins was driving a car on the W. Riverside Bridge on August 4th, 2015 when the vehicle collided with a bridge wall and went airborne, landing on the driver’s side and catching fire.  Rankins was extricated, but his two passengers, Devon Boose and Kewan Nappier were pronounced dead at the scene.

You can see ‘Eyewitness News’ coverage of the incident here.

Prosecutors say a third passenger in the car who was seriously hurt but survived told them that Rankins took his hands off the wheel as he accelerated.  They say that crash data revealed the vehicle was going 61 mph 5 seconds before the crash and climbed to 70 mph at the time of the crash with no evidence of braking.

They also say that Rankins was legally drunk and there was THC in his system.

Rankins will be sentenced for Aggravated Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol Involving Death, Reckless Homicide, and Aggravated Driving Under the influence of Alcohol Involving Great Bodily Harm in April.  Prosecutors say he could receive a sentence of anywhere from 9 years up to 50 years in prison.

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