Fatal “Hit & Run” Accident In Orland Park

“Hit & Run” accidents continue to occur in the Chicago area.  While there are many reasons as to why a driver may leave the scene of an accident, two main reasons is that they want to avoid the consequences of causing a crash and/or the driver does not want to be charged with driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

The December 4, 2019 fatal Orland Park parking lot accident was a “hit & run.” In this accident, two women were hit from behind as they were walking to their cars in a parking lot.  One of the  women was fatally struck, and another woman was injured.  The women were walking to their cars after being at the Square Celt Ale House & Grill at the Orland Square Mall.

The two women were identified as Rone (Margaret) Leja, 61, and Elizabeth Kosteck. 54. Margaret Leja was pronounced dead after being taken to Silver Cross Hospital; Elizabeth Kosteck was treated for her injuries and released.

Additional details regarding parking lot pedestrian accidents can be seen in various media sources, including the December 6, 2019 Orland Park Patch article titled “Fatal Orland Park Hit-And-Run Driver In Custody: Police” as well as the December 7 NBC Chicago article (with videos) titled “Retired Priest Charged In Hit-And-Run Said He ‘Blacked Out’ Before Crash:  Police.”

An excerpt from the NBC Chicago article:

The retired priest charged with a deadly hit-and-run that killed one teacher and injured a second as they were leaving a Christmas party in Orland Park told police he “blacked out” before the crash, and didn’t know how it happened, court documents revealed.

Fr. Paul Burak, 73, the retired pastor of St. Michael Parish in Orland Park, was charged with aggravated DUI and leaving the scene of an accident, both felonies, after attending the same “Christmas card” party as the victims in Wednesday night’s incident.

Additional details regarding this fatal “hit & run” accident can be seen in the sources mentioned above.

When a person is hit by a vehicle, there are various steps that should be immediately taken. These steps include actions to address both medical issues as well as legal ones.

While pedestrian accident injuries vary in severity, they tend to be serious in nature and can have lasting consequences. The subject of pedestrian accidents and “what to do” after being hit by a vehicle is further discussed on the “Chicago Pedestrian Accidents” page.


Should you be involved in a vehicle accident, there are certain actions you should take in order to protect your rights. Elman Joseph Law Group, LLC has compiled a reference document titled “10 Steps You Should Follow After an Auto Accident.”

Elman Joseph Law Group, LLC (ElmanLaw.com) concentrates in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death cases involving vehicle accidents (car, motorcycle, bike, bus, pedestrian, truck, etc.) This intense focus allows us to consistently achieve winning verdicts and settlements for our clients.

Should you be involved in a car accident, there are certain actions you should take in order to protect your rights. You should not assume – especially without proper legal representation – that you will receive appropriate compensation for your injuries, hardships and/or losses. To speak directly with a trial lawyer from Elman Joseph Law Group, LLC immediately, call (773) 392-8182 at any time. There is no fee for this consultation.

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