Man charged with DUI after killing law student in wrong-way collision on Lake Shore Drive

A Chicago man has been charged in a wrong-way crash that killed a law student and injured two others.

Erik Johnson, 23, is scheduled to appear in bond court later this morning after being charged with aggravated DUI causing death and bodily harm. Police say Johnson drove his SUV the wrong-way down Lake Shore Drive on Friday morning, slamming head on into the taxi.  One of the passengers in the cab, 26-year-old University of Chicago law student Laura Laplante, died from her injuries on Friday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Another law student, 25-year-old Michael Wasil, was in the cab with Laplante and is still hospitalized in stable to critical condition.

Flags in front of the law school were flown at half-staff Saturday in honor and remembrance of Laplante, a third year law student from New Hampshire set to graduate this spring.

Classmate and friend Michael Lanahan says Laura was the kind of person who’s personality lit up a room.

“Laura was wonderful,” Lanahan said. “She genuinely cared for people you could see that whenever you talked to here she was always have a lot going on always super involved.”

The Dean of the law school Michael Schill sent an email to law students, faculty and staff Friday that listed Lanahan’s many accomplishments on campus, including her involvement in a number of different law organizations.   He also added “I cannot make sense of the passing of such a wonderful, vital young woman who would surely have done so much in her life to make the world a better place.  At the same time, during Laura’s short time on earth she made an impact. Laura left each of us better human beings then we would have been in her absence.”

The cab drivers condition has not been released.

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