MILWAUKEE — Cornelius McShane, 65, of Freeport, Ill. now faces one count of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle after a Fourth of July crash on I-43. This, after the victim, an Army veteran and beloved junior ROTC advisor, Stephen Randall, died as a result of injuries suffered in the crash.
McShane previously faced one count of injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle and one count of second degree reckless injury. He was in court Thursday, July 19 for his preliminary hearing, which he waived. An arraignment was set for July 24.
The crash happened on July 4 on I-43 near Burleigh. The medical examiner on July 15 confirmed for Master Sergeant Randall died. He was a junior ROTC instructor at Hamilton High School.
According to a criminal complaint, on Wednesday, July 4, authorities responded to I-43 southbound at Burleigh, where they found a Harley-Davidson motorcycle on its side on the ground, and a red Cadillac with severe front end damage and airbag deployment.
The complaint says McShane was identified as the driver of the Cadillac, and he had one passenger.
There were several citizens standing near the Cadillac, and authorities found the motorcycle operator laying on the ground, with the Cadillac’s rear passenger tire on top of the motorcyclist’s legs. The motorcyclist was unconscious but had a pulse — bleeding profusely from the head.
The motorcyclist, Randall, was taken to the hospital, where it was determined there were “numerous brain bleeds.” In addition to serving our country for 21 years, Randall was a junior ROTC instructor at Hamilton High School — and he had many students praying for him.
“This can’t be real,” said Keenen Walker, 17. “He was on his motorcycle when this happened. He’s a big fan of motorcycles.”
Walker has been an ROTC member since he was a freshman at Hamilton. Like the hundreds of students who have completed the program, he said he considered Randall a mentor.
“He taught me a lot of lessons and how to treat people, how to respect them. It’s bad that it happened, but he’s a tough man. He’ll beat it. Sgt. Randall did fight for our country. I believe that everyone should pitch in and help this man who risked his life for everyone,” said Walker.
Staff Sgt. Christopher Dixon, a recruiter for the United States Marine Corps worked closely with Randall through Hamilton’s ROTC program.
“That was the introduction to him. Every time I talked to him it’s a new story. It’s going to leave a big void that’s going to take a couple of people to fill for these kids,” said SSgt. Dixon.
Dixon said Randall was committed to helping people succeed, whether they were his students or his peers.
“It was a bond that military people have. He didn’t hesitate to go out of his way to be able to take care of you, and that’s something that sucks when you lose that kind of person,” said Dixon.
A candlelight vigil was held in Sgt. Randall’s honor late Saturday night, July 14, and again on Sunday night.
The complaint says McShane indicated he “had a few beers approximately four to five hours prior,” and he took hydrocodone. Prosecutors say investigators noted a strong odor of intoxicants, red, glassy eyes and slurred speech.
Field sobriety tests were performed poorly, and the complaint says McShane was arrested. A preliminary breath test revealed a result of .134. A sample of his blood was taken at the hospital and submitted for analysis.
The complaint says a witness indicated he was headed southbound on I-43 when he saw several vehicles ahead of him with their brake lights on. He slowed down and as he approached the crash scene, he said he saw the motorcyclist laying in the road, and he saw the red Cadillac back up over the man.
Prosecutors say investigators recovered a bottle of hydrocodone from the Cadillac, along with a bottle of “amlodipine besylate” pills — a blood pressure medication.
CLICK HERE to access a GoFundMe.com account set up to support Sgt. Randall and his family.