A Geneva man has pleaded guilty in an October 2017 fatal DUI crash that killed 19-year-old Nicholas Hanson of Geneva.
Twenty-year-old Raphael P. Peruzza pleaded guilty on Dec. 6 to the offense of aggravated DUI causing death, Class 2 felony.
Kane County Associate Judge David R. Kliment accepted the plea and set Peruzza’s next court appearance for 1:30 p.m. Jan. 30, 2019, for sentencing.
Peruzza faces a sentence of probation if extraordinary circumstances are found, or between three and 14 years imprisonment in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Kane County Assistant State’s Attorney Lori Anderson stated in court that at about 2:20 a.m. Oct. 6, 2017, Peruzza was driving a black Jeep southbound on Burr Road in unincorporated St. Charles Township. Nicholas Hanson was riding in the front passenger seat.
The jeep was traveling at a high rate of speed when it left the roadway, went airborne and crashed into a group of trees. Peruzza got out of the car, as the car began to burn, leaving Hanson behind.
The investigation revealed that Peruzza’s blood-alcohol concentration was more than 0.08 percent. Peruzza admitted to police that he had been drinking alcohol just before driving.
Peruzza remains free on bond.
“Although Mr. Peruzza’s decision to plead guilty in this case relieves Nicholas Hanson’s family of having to live through the horrific details of the crash that killed him, it does not erase the fact that Mr. Peruzza made an incredibly irresponsible and criminal decision when he chose to consume alcohol and then drive at an excessive speed,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said.