A Geneva man has been sentenced to prison for an October 2017 fatal DUI crash that killed 19-year-old Nicholas Hanson of Geneva.
Raphael P. Peruzza, 21, on Feb. 1 agreed to a sentence of eight years’ imprisonment in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Peruzza on Dec. 6, 2018, entered a guilty plea to the offense of aggravated DUI causing death, Class 2 felony.
At the time, Peruzza left the sentencing decision to Kane County Associate Judge David Kliment. Since then, however, all parties in the case agreed on a sentence of eight years’ imprisonment. Kliment accepted the plea agreement Friday.
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 it 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.
According to Illinois law, Peruzza must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence. Peruzza receives credit for zero days served as he had been free on a signature bond since he was charged.
Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said Nicholas Hanson’s death, like every death caused by a drunken driver, was completely preventable.
“This defendant made irresponsible and life-changing decisions to engage in criminal behavior when he chose to drink alcohol to a point of impairment and then drive, leading to a horrific and fatal crash,” he said.
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