ORLAND PARK, IL — Orland Park Badge Arch Tim McCarthy said a retired priest is amenable for the baleful arrest that claimed the activity of 61-year-old Rone (Margaret) Leja, a technology abecedary at St. Michael School, on Dec. 4. A additional abecedary was additionally injured.
Paul Burak, 73, a above pastor who retired from St. Mike’s in 2018, is answerable with aggravated DUI and abrogation the arena of a baleful crash, both felonies.
Leja and third-grade abecedary Elizabeth Kosteck were bridge a account alley alfresco Square Celt Ale House and Grill headed aback to their cars about 8 p.m. Dec. 4 aback they were hit, according to police. McCarthy said acceptable Samaritans attempted to aid the two women, and assorted bodies alleged 911 during what he declared as a “chaotic scene.”
Leja and Kosteck were both taken to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, area Lega was arresting dead.
McCarthy said about 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, board amid and bedeviled the agent believed to accept been complex in the crash, a ablaze gold 2016 Buick Regal, in a barn on Canterbury Cloister in Palos Heights.
“The buyer of the agent (Burak) was bedfast at that time,” the badge arch said during a account conference. Board would not say what led them to Burak’s car.
McCarthy said Burak had abounding the aforementioned Christmas agenda affair as Leja and Kosteck, who was appear from the hospital the day afterwards the crash.
McCarthy said Burak larboard the arena of the blast and did not acquaintance police. He beneath to animadversion on whether a medical action may accept played a role in the crash, or what Burak’s blood-alcohol akin was at the time of the crash.
Asked whether Burak was acquainted that he addled the victims, McCarthy replied, “I don’t know.”
Just afore the baleful crash, a attestant asked Burak if he was OK to drive, according to cloister documents, NBC Chicago reported. Prosecutors said Burak hit addition agent while abetment out of his parking atom afore branch arctic through the parking lot and arresting the victims.
Another attestant reportedly followed Burak’s agent in their own and eventually approached Burak’s car, but Burak collection away. Cloister abstracts affirmation Burak addled a barrier while active by a adjacent Panda Express, at which point the attestant confronted him, took a photo of his authorization bowl and told him to go aback to the arena of the crash, CBS reported.
Burak did aloof that, according to cloister documents, but did not allege to badge at the arena or acquaint anyone he had hit Leja and Kosteck.
Documents said Burak, who told badge he has Parkinson’s disease, claimed he’d had two drinks and “blacked out” above-mentioned to the crash, adage the aftermost affair he remembered was actuality helped into his agent by two people, NBC reported.
Burak reportedly told badge he did not apperceive he had hit the victims, adage he anticipation he addled a barrier and a parking block.
On Saturday, Burak appeared afore a judge, who set his band at $10,000.
Watch Saturday morning’s columnist conference:
After Burak’s arrest, the Archdiocese of Chicago issued the afterward account Saturday:
As a association we abide to ache the accident of Ms. Leja and the abrasion to Mrs. Kosteck. We afresh action our ardent condolences, abutment and accord to their families and are befitting them and all afflicted by this tragedy in our prayers.
Fr. Paul Burak was built-in and aloft on the South Side of Chicago and accomplished in the Catholic acceptance at Little Flower and Saint Linus parishes, according to TribLocal.
A YouTube video committed to his life-long captivation with the abbey said that he “began his apostolic adventure as a seminarian and after a priest at Mundelein.”
For 17 years, Burak served as pastor at Our Lady of the Ridge in Chicago Ridge afore his arrangement as pastor at St. Michael Abbey in Orland Park.
“I absolutely accept in the abyss of my affection that I am area I am meant to be, that I am area God wants me to be,” Burak said in a letter to the archdiocese in 2009 afterward his accession to St. Michael.
According to St. Michael Parish, Fr. Paul Burak retired from the admiral in June 2018.
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