Joliet cop charged with DUI in crash that killed cop from Glen Ellyn

  • Erin L. Zilka

    Erin L. Zilka

  • Charles Schauer

    Charles Schauer

 
 
Updated 1/20/2020 5:32 PM

A 12-year veteran of the Joliet Police Department has been charged with driving under the influence and driving too fast for conditions in a weekend crash that killed her passenger, a Berwyn police officer from Glen Ellyn.

Killed was Charles Schauer, 33, of Glen Ellyn, who was a passenger in the Dodge Durango SUV driven by Erin L. Zilka, 35, of Plainfield around 6 a.m. Sunday on southbound I-55 just north of U.S. Route 30.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Zilka hit a disabled box truck that was in the roadway, according to a news release from Illinois State Police.

State police issued a misdemeanor DUI ticket for Zilka, according to Carole Cheney, a spokesman for the Will County state's attorney. The state's attorney is reviewing the case to see if a felony charge is appropriate.

The box truck had been hit by a pickup truck shortly before that, and the two vehicles came to rest in the right two lanes. A Plainfield man, 42-year-old Rodrigo Marin, may be charged with aggravated DUI-reckless homicide for causing the initial crash, authorities said.

A probable cause hearing was held Monday, and Marin's bail was set at $250,000. To be freed from the Will County jail, he would have to post $25,000.

Prosecutors presented evidence that Marin could be charged with aggravated DUI-three or more convictions, aggravated DUI-reckless homicide, DUI, failure to give information or render aid at an injury accident, leaving the scene of an accident, improper lane use, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, and driving on a revoked or suspended license. His next court date is Wednesday afternoon.

The Joliet Police Department says Zilka was off-duty at the time of the crash and that it has begun an internal investigation.

The Berwyn Police Department said on its Facebook page Sunday that it "is grieving the loss of a well-respected Police Officer, Charles Schauer, a ten year veteran." Hundreds expressed condolences in comments.

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