Joliet Cop Faces Three Counts of Aggravated DUI after Deadly Wreck Kills One

A Joliet cop who was released on her own recognizance after a suspected drunk driving crash that killed her passenger now faces three felony charges of aggravated driving under the influence. 

Before the announcement last week, officer Erin Zilka, 36, was only charged with one misdemeanor DUI in connection to a January 19 car crash on I-55 north of Route 30 that killed Berwyn police officer Charles Schauer, 33. 

According to police, Zilka was off duty when she drove a Dodge Durango into the back of a disabled truck stopped on I-55. Schauer, who was also off duty, was a passenger in Zilka’s vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, police said. 

Zilka was taken to an area hospital in Joliet with non-life threatening injuries. She refused to submit to alcohol testing, according to state police. As a result, she lost her license to a summary suspension and was placed on paid leave for 11 months until the felony charges were filed against her last Wednesday.

Schauer was a 10-year veteran of the Berwyn Police Department and was a “well-respected” member of the agency, department officials said in a statement. As the Zilka’s case moves forward, Charles Schauer’s family may be entitled to a wrongful death claim. With assistance from a drunk driving accident attorney, the victim’s family can seek compensation for funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering following an accident. 

Illinois Drunk Driving Accident Attorney 

Was your loved one killed in a drunk driving accident in Joliet? Contact Agruss Law Firm, LLC to set up a free initial consultation with a Chicago drunk driving accident attorney who has an A+ BBB rating and over 1,000 five-star reviews from his clients. 


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