BERWYN— A 35-year-old Plainfield woman is being charged with driving under the influence in a multi-vehicle crash that resulted in the death of her passenger, an off-duty Berwyn police officer.
Around 6 a.m. Sunday, Illinois State Police said a box truck and a pickup truck got into an accident and stopped on two southbound lanes of I-55, just north of US Route 30 near Plainfield. Shortly after, police said 35-year-old Erin Zilka crashed into the stopped box truck in a Dodge Durango. Her passenger, off-duty Berwyn police officer Chuck Schauer, was killed in the crash.
Berwyn Police Department Chief Michael Cimaglia called Officer Schauer one of the city’s finest in blue, a well-respected member of the police department. The police union called the 10-year veteran an outstanding leader and role model.
Three lanes of traffic were shut down for about three hours as the ISP investigated, and police said Zilka was later charged with Driving Under the Influence.
Officials including Berwyn Mayor Robert Lavaro and several local aldermen all posted online Sunday to ask the community to keep Schauer’s family in their thoughts and prayers.