Posted On: January 4, 2010 by Steven J. Malman

West Chicago Teen’s Family Files Kane County Car Accident Lawsuit Against His Former Classmate

The family of 17-year-old Cameron Godee is suing 18-year-old Onofrio J. Lorusso for Illinois wrongful death. Godee died in a Kane County car crash on June 14 while riding in Lorusso’s SUV. Now, the West Chicago victim’s family is seeking $6.175 M in wrongful death damages. Godee and Lorusso, a Wayne resident, had just graduated from St. Charles East High School.

According to police, Lorusso’s blood-alcohol concentration was almost three times the legal limit and he also had marijuana in his system when he lost control of his vehicle and struck two trees. Godee was riding in the front-passenger seat. The two teenagers riding in the back seat sustained injuries.

The Illinois car crash lawsuit is accusing Lorusso of negligent driving and willfully ignoring his passengers’ safety. In the criminal case against him, Lorusso has pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence of drugs, aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless homicide, and driving under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs. He is currently free on bond.

One of the passengers that survived the catastrophic Illinois car wreck is suing Lorusso for Kane County personal injury. 17-year-old Chelsea Mertz, a St. Charles resident, sustained a traumatic brain injury and broke her jaw during the June car wreck. Her Illinois car accident claims that Lorusso was driving over 40 mph above the speed limit, on the wrong side of the road, and was under the influence of pot and alcohol. Lorusso’s father is also a defendant of the lawsuit, which accuses him of neglecting to prevent his intoxicated son from driving the other teens home.

Mertz is undergoing rehabilitative therapy to treat her brain injury. Doctors had to surgically rewire her jaw. It is unclear whether the effects of her traumatic brain injury are permanent.

Driver in fatal crash sued for millions, The Chronicle, December 22, 2009

Survivor of fatal St. Charles crash sues driver, Daily Herald, August 7, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Teen Drivers, Motor Vehicle Safety

CyberDrive Illinois

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