Metro-East News

Edwardsville teen was intoxicated when he struck tree, died in early-morning accident

An Edwardsville teen was under the influence of alcohol when he drove off the road, hit a tree and died in the early morning hours of Oct. 1, according to a toxicology report.

Shane Ellinger, 19, was found in his overturned vehicle on the side of Illinois Route 143 in Edwardsville just after 7 a.m. Police believe he crashed about 30 minutes before then.

The Madison County Coroner’s toxicology report stated the 19-year-old’s Blood Alcohol Content was 0.210, which is more than twice the legal limit. An autopsy was not performed.

Someone driving by the scene of the accident called police, Lt. Charles Kohlberg said in October. It appeared Ellinger was driving east on Highway 143 near Marine Road when he crossed the left lane of traffic, went off the roadway, hit a tree and flipped over.

Edwardsville police Lt. Chris Byrne said on Friday that police do not know where the teen got alcohol.

“We don't have any credible evidence as to where he was drinking,” he said.

Byrne added that officers would like to hear from anyone who has information about who provided Ellinger alcohol or where he was drinking.

People can call the police department at 656-2131 and ask to speak with an investigator. The caller can remain anonymous, Byrne noted.

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