A south suburban man died after being struck by lightning while fishing with friends in central Illinois last weekend, officials said.
Mokena resident Jonathan "Jonny" Oliosi, 29, was fishing near the Lake Shelbyville Dam on the west side of the Kaskaskia River at about 3:30 p.m. Sunday when he was struck by lightning, according to Brian Green, Shelby County coroner. Oliosi was taken by ambulance to Shelby Memorial Hospital in Shelbyville, but attempts to resuscitate him failed and he was pronounced dead at 4:15 p.m., Green said.
Shelbyville is about three hours south of Mokena.
Oliosi lived in his hometown and worked construction with his father, according to friends. He is survived by his parents, Reno and Laura Oliosi, brothers Daniel and Christopher, and his girlfriend, Melissa Novy.
Oliosi was the proud father of a 20-month old girl, Olivia, and planned on marrying Novy, said Michael Szafranowski, 31, a longtime friend who lived down the street from the family.
"Jon Oliosi was a great father, a great friend, and a caring son," Szafranowski said.
When Szafranowski heard that his friend had died, he thought it was some sort of prank. But the reality soon set in.
"Immediate crying. Immediate regret," Szafranowski recalled.
News of his death stunned Oliosi's friends and family.
"It's just so random and so unreal," said friend Shannon Lynn, 25, of Mokena. "You hear about it happening but never to anyone you know. It's just a terrible thing."
Fishing was one of Oliosi's great passions, Szafranowski said, along with hockey. The two met in high school, where they played hockey. They have continued playing hockey since graduation.
On Monday night, as the Blackhawks took the ice against the Detroit Red Wings, a group of Oliosi's friends gathered to honor his memory, Lynn said.
When the Blackhawks won, Szafranowski said he knew it was a gift from his friend.
"Every time the Hawks scored, I just looked up at the sky and was like, 'I know, Jonny, you're doing this. I know it,'" Szafranowski said. "He's going to be buried with his (Jonathan) Toews jersey on,"
Visitation is scheduled from 2 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Vandenburg Funeral Home in Mokena. Services will be at 9:15 a.m Thursday, followed by a 10 a.m. Mass at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mokena. Rest in Peace fellow fisherman.