Berwyn Mourns The Loss Of Officer Who Died In Crash

Bernie Tafoya
January 20, 2020 - 12:31 pm
Purple Bunting Berwyn Police Department

WBBM Newsradio/Bernie Tafoya


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Purple bunting hangs over the entrance to the Berwyn police department and across the grill of a Berwyn squad car parked outside the police station, and an American flag is at half-staff, all in memory of an officer who died in a crash while off-duty early Sunday morning.

Officer Charles Schauer was a passenger in an SUV that crashed Sunday morning into a box truck along I-55 ust north of U.S. Route 30.

One Berwyn officer who said he was friends with Schauer calls him "a good guy" and calls his death, "unfortunate."

When a Berwyn resident named Millie heard about it, she felt compelled to do something to show her support. She brought two store-bought cakes to the police station. 

"The police officer that I gave the cake to, she was in tears, so I’m sure they’re all pretty upset, so it’s just, we got to act like a community and I just wanted to show that support," she said. "It’s sad. The circumstances are sad. I don’t really want to say anything about how this happened because who knows what really happened. There is an accident component to this. It’s a tragedy."

State police said the driver of the SUV, a Dodge Durango, was 35-year-old Joliet Police Officer Erin L. Zilka. She is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.  

Officer Schauer, a 10-year veteran of the force, is from Glen Ellyn and has a wife and two children.

Berwyn resident Millie said, "maybe there were some bad decisions made when this whole thing, how it happened. Despite that, the wife and the kids and even the woman who was in the driver’s seat of this, I’m sure they are all really suffering."