Retired priest charged after Orland Park hit-and-run crash that killed teacher, injured another

A former priest at an Orland Park parish was charged in connection with a hit-and-run crash that killed one of the parish’s elementary school teachers and seriously injured another.

Paul Burak, 73, was charged with aggravated DUI and leaving the scene of a fatal accident, Orland Park Police Chief Tim McCarthy said Saturday morning.

(Photo credit: Orland Park Police)

Burak allegedly struck the women about 8 p.m. Wednesday while leaving a staff holiday party at the Square Celt Ale House & Grill near the Orland Square Mall which the two women had attended, McCarthy said. Both women were taken to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, where Margaret “Rone” Leja, 61, was pronounced dead and Elizabeth Kosteck, 54, was listed in serious condition, police said.

Burak was a priest at St. Michael Parish until he retired in June 2018, according to the parish’s website. Leja and Kosteck were teachers at St. Michael School.

“As a community we continue to grieve the loss of Ms. Leja and the injury to Mrs. Kosteck,” the Archdiocese of Chicago said in a statement. “We again offer our heartfelt condolences, support and sympathy to their families and are keeping them and all affected by this tragedy in our prayers.”

Elizabeth Kosteck and Margaret "Rone" Leja