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posted: 8/4/2013 5:57 PM

Lawsuit filed in Aurora Township hopeful's I-88 death

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A lawsuit has been filed in response to the April death of an Aurora Township Board candidate.

Carmen Cantu, 61, of Aurora, who unsuccessfully ran in the February primary for the Democratic nod for trustee, died after her car was rear-ended by a car and later struck by a semitrailer on Interstate 88, according to a lawsuit filed in Kane County.

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Cantu's daughter, Veronica, seeks damages of more than $50,000 and argues that two drivers were negligent in causing her mother's death April 22.

"This is a tragic accident and Ms. Cantu leaves behind a daughter and granddaughter," attorney Michael Clancy said. "We are going to do our best to honor Ms. Cantu's memory for her family."

Listed as defendants are Spencer Johnson, of Elburn, and Duane Buell, a driver for the Wenona, Ill.-based Breckenridge Trucking, Inc., which also is being sued.

The suit argues that Cantu's 2011 Nissan Sentra was rear-ended by Johnson in his 2004 Cavalier while both were eastbound on I-88 near the border of Kane and DeKalb counties.

"Ms. Cantu's vehicle came to rest on or near I-88 and was struck by the truck driven by Mr. Buell. Ms. Cantu was killed as a result of the collision," read part of the lawsuit filed by Clancy.

The suit argued that Johnson was negligent and speeding and Buell also was negligent.

Buell suffered minor injuries in the crash after his truck, which was towing an ethanol tanker, rolled over.

According to court records, Johnson was ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. Kane County Judge Christine Downs convicted Johnson of the traffic offense after a brief bench trial June 21 and he was fined $250 and given 11 months of court supervision, records show.

The parties are due before Judge James Murphy Oct. 17.

Cantu, who was making her first bid at public office, was one of eight people seeking four Democratic slots on the April 9 for township board.

'Ask a Lawyer': The Kane County Bar Association will host its next "Ask A Lawyer Day" Saturday.

The program, which began several years ago for the bar association's 150th anniversary celebration, allows people to speak to volunteer attorneys for free. Call (630) 762-1900 between 9 a.m. and noon for a free consultation.

The service is sponsored by the bar association and lawyers have experience in: real estate, landlord/tenant, criminal, estates and wills, divorce, child custody, collections, bankruptcy and traffic cases.

The bar association said the call volume is high, so people are asked to keep trying if lines are busy because volunteers can't retrieve voice mail.

hhitzeman@dailyherald.com

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