Visitation held for Orland Park teacher killed in hit-and-run

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TINLEY PARK, Ill. — Visitation was held Monday for the Catholic school teacher killed in the hit-and-run near Orland Square Mall.

Friends and family gathered to honor Margaret "Rone" Leja at the Vandenberg Funeral Home in Tinley Park.

“Rone was dedicated teacher,” family friend Ellice Durham-Jordan said. “The family is just a beautiful hardworking family. Just good people.”

The hit-and-run happened around 8 p.m. Wednesday near the Square Celt restaurant, at 39 Orland Square Drive. Leja, 61, and Elizabeth Kosteck, 54, both attended the St. Michael School's Christmas party at the restaurant and were walking to their cars when they were struck by a vehicle.

The women were transported to Silver Cross Hospital. Leja was pronounced dead at the hospital, and Kosteck was treated and released.

Retired priest Paul Burak, 73, was charged with aggravated DUI and leaving the scene of an accident — both felonies.

Police said Burak attended the party that both of the teachers attended Wednesday evening.

According to court documents, Burak did admit to drinking at the Christmas party before getting into his vehicle. Defense attorneys said Burak has Parkinson's disease and glaucoma.

A prayer service will be held Tuesday.

 

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