Driver in fatal crash sued for millions

ST. CHARLES – The family of a St. Charles East graduate who died in a crash is suing the classmate accused of driving drunk and causing the collision for more than $6 million.

Onofrio Lorusso, 18, of Wayne, has pleaded not guilty in criminal court to multiple counts of aggravated drunken driving and reckless homicide in connection with the early morning June 14 crash that killed 17-year-old Cameron Godee of West Chicago.

Prosecutors say Lorusso, also a recent St. Charles East graduate, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.227 and marijuana in his system when he drove his SUV into a tree in the 3100 block of Royal Fox Drive.

Godee, a passenger in the vehicle, died from his injuries. Two other passengers were hospitalized, but survived.

Godee's family filed a lawsuit Monday in Kane County Circuit Court stating that they should receive $6.175 million for their loss.

Lorusso's attorney Vince Solano said Tuesday that he had yet to see the lawsuit but expected it.

The family of another passenger in the vehicle, Chelsea Mertz, who was injured, filed a lawsuit in August against Lorusso, his father of the same name and the company the father owns.

That lawsuit claims the younger Lorusso was negligent, along with his father who owns the company SUV but allowed his son to use it.

Mertz suffered a brain injury and a fractured jaw after the crash, according to the family's attorney, Michael Clancy.

That lawsuit still is pending.

Lorusso remains out of jail on bond as he awaits trial. He's due back in court next month.