A retired priest of St. Michael Catholic Church, 73-year-old Paul Burak, is being charged with aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of a fatal accident after hitting two St. Michael School teachers in Orland Park, Illinois. 61-year-old Margaret “Rone” Leja, who was killed, and 54-year-old Elizabeth Kosteck, who was injured, had left a St. Michael Christmas party at an Irish pub just a few minutes before Burak, according to Cook County prosecutors. The women were walking to their cars when Burak allegedly reversed out of a parking lot, struck the women with his car, and drove away, according to Assistant State Attorney James Murphy in a bond hearing on Saturday.
The former pastor told police that he had taken his medication for Parkinson’s and glaucoma and was intoxicated at the holiday party, blacked out, and subsequently mistook the women for a “curb.” Burak was released on bond on Saturday with the condition of court-ordered electronic monitoring, according to Cook County sheriff’s office spokesman Matthew Walberg. “I do believe he is devastated. The family is devastated as well,” said Judge Arthur Wesley Willis, who set the $10,000 bond for Burak.