Special Prosecutor Appointed In DUI Case Against Joliet Officer In Fatal Crash

Bernie Tafoya
January 22, 2020 - 8:33 am
Erin Zilka

Illinois State Police


JOLIET, Ill. (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- There’s going to be a special prosecutor in the case of a Joliet police officer charged with DUI in a fatal crash last weekend. 

The Will County State’s Attorney's Office requested the special prosecutor, because accused Joliet police officer Erin Zilka is a victim of a job-related aggravated battery and is a witness in another criminal matter.

Officer Zilka is on paid administrative leave. State police continue to investigate the crash that happened Sunday on I-55 just north of U.S. Route 30.

Police said an SUV driven by Zilka hit a 2008 Hino box truck that was involved in an earlier crash with a pickup truck. Her passenger, 33-year-old Berwyn Police Officer Charles Schauer was killed.

Zilka’s attorney, Jeff Tomczak, said her blood-alcohol test came up under the legal limit, but declined to specify the number, though experts have said there are other factors that can go into a DUI charge.

Zilka has been an officer with Joliet police for 6 years, and had served in Shorewood for another 6 years, Tomczak said. He said she is due in court March 18.

Zilka is charged with misdemeanor DUI. She was also cited for driving too fast for conditions, state police said.