- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 13, 2021

CHICAGO (AP) - A retired priest who was charged in the 2019 death of a suburban Chicago teacher after he allegedly struck her with his car as she walked across a parking lot has died, the Archdiocese of Chicago said Wednesday

The Archdiocese said in an email that the Rev. Paul Burak, 74, died Monday at his Orland Park home. The archdiocese did not give a cause of death and said it would post an obituary online later on Wednesday.

Burak was arrested in December 2019 after he allegedly struck Margarat “Rone” Leja and Elizabeth Kosteck as they were walking to their cars after leaving a holiday party for staff of St. Michael School in Orland Park that Burak had also attended. The 61-year-old Leja died at a nearby hospital that night.

Burak, who had retired in 2018 as pastor at St. Michael Parish, was charged with aggravated driving under the influence. That charge was later dropped and at the the time of his death, Burak faced charges of leaving the scene of an accident involving death and leaving the scene of an accident involving injury. He had pleaded not guilty and was scheduled to appear in court for a status hearing on Tuesday.

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