Suit filed in death of woman killed while walking along Eisenhower Expressway
A family photo shows Diana Paz, right, and her son, Erik Martinez, 5. (Chris Walker, Chicago Tribune)
The wrongful death lawsuit was filed in Cook County court by the family of Diana Paz, 25, of Chicago, who was struck and killed Sept. 2.
Shortly before her death, Paz was stopped for driving the wrong way on the Eisenhower and was cited for DUI by an Illinois State Police trooper.
The trooper brought Paz to the Westchester Police Department for booking and then, after Paz posted bond, dropped her off at a Mannheim Road gas station.
A short while later, Paz was struck by the pickup truck.
The suit against the trooper alleges the officer failed in his duty to protect Paz and that he should have known she was still under the influence of alcohol and that Paz did not have any money, a cell phone or other means to seek assistance.
The Village of Westchester is also named in the suit, but the village denied any responsibility.
“The Westchester Police Department had nothing to do with the death of Diana Paz,” Village Police Chief April Padalik said Thursday in a written statement. “The Illinois State Police use the Westchester police station as a satellite station due to our close proximity to I-290 and other area expressways.”
Illinois State Police spokeswoman Monique Bond declined to comment, citing the pending litigation.
Before her arrest, Paz had been drinking and celebrating a birthday at a friend’s house, according to reports.