A Chicago man, who is a convicted murderer, was arrested after he crashed his car into a pole, causing it to burst into flames in Crystal Lake while he had a child in the car.
Ledell T. Rice, 40, of the 5000 block of West Washington Street in Chicago, was charged with causing a child to be endangered, two counts of violating an order of protection and child restraint violation of a child under the age of 8.
Rice drove his vehicle off the road near the Crystal Lake Motel at the intersection of Virginia Road and Carpenter Street around 11:20 p.m. August 11.
Crystal Lake Deputy Police Chief Thomas Kotlowski said that Rice’s vehicle, a 2017 Ford Focus, collided with a pole, its concrete base and a wooden fence.
The Ford then caught on fire. No one was injured, Kotlowski said.
A criminal complaint filed in McHenry County alleges that Rice violated an order of protection by being in the vehicle with a child, under 8 years old, and a woman, who he was ordered to stay away from.
“Mr. Rice denied driving, however also claimed the vehicle lost power prior to the crash, which caused the crash,” Kotlowski said.
The officer who took the crash report listed contributing factors as “driver skill/knowledge/experience” and “had been drinking.”
In addition to his charges, Rice was also cited for reckless driving, driving without a license, driving an uninsured motor vehicle, improper traffic lane usage and failure to reduce speed.
Court documents noted that Rice was previously convicted of first-degree murder in 1997.
Rice remains held in the McHenry County jail on a $20,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.