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DUI Charges Upgraded To Felony For Joliet Police Officer Erin Zilka In Crash That Killed Berwyn Officer

JOLIET, Ill. (CBS) -- Charges were upgraded Wednesday for Joliet police Officer Erin Zilka, who now faces felony driving under the influence charges in a crash that killed another officer.

It was a horrific crash scene back on Sunday, Jan. 19.

Illinois State Police said Zilka was driving and Berwyn police Officer Charles Schauer was in the passenger seat of a Dodge Durango, when she crashed into a box truck that was blocking traffic on Interstate 55 near Plainfield, following an earlier crash involving a pickup truck. Schauer was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officer Charles Schauer
Berwyn police Officer Charles Schauer was killed in a traffic crash. (Credit: IMPA Berwyn)

A distraught Zilka was seen shortly after the crash walking along the expressway.

Joliet Officer Erin Zilka
Erin Zilka, a Joliet police officer, is charged with DUI in a crash that killed Berwyn Police Officer Charles Schauer. (Credit: Illinois State Police)

Zilka's attorney said her blood alcohol level was under the legal limit, though experts have said there are other factors that can go into a DUI charge.

Zilka is out on bond and is on paid leave from the Joliet Police Department.

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