A wrongful death case has been filed on behalf of a young mother who died when she was struck by a car while walking along the Eisenhower Expressway. Diana Paz had been stopped by the Illinois State Police, and then released, despite her allegedly intoxicated state. The suit claims that the police acted recklessly in releasing her. The town of Westchester is also named in the suit, as that is where she was first taken into custody.
Paz was released in the early morning of September 2 by an Illinois state trooper at the Mannheim Road BP Amoco station, though she had no cell phone and no purse. Reportedly, she was intoxicated at the time of the release, and was struck about twenty minutes later by a vehicle traveling on the Eisenhower Expressway.
For reasons unknown, she had been walking in the median of the roadway. The woman was a mother, and her family’s legal counsel said her son would still have her in his life if police had not let the intoxicated woman go free. Her five-year-old son is now being raised by his grandparents, and asks about his mother, the attorney said.
The grandmother who is taking care of Paz’s son says she wants to know why the police did not protect her daughter, because it was clear she was intoxicated when police booked her for driving the wrong way on the Eisenhower Expressway. Video taken of her at the police station showed her stumbling. An autopsy later revealed her blood alcohol concentration was two times the legal limit of .08.
Illinois state police said no policy was violated.
Ms. Paz was studying criminal justice with the goal of becoming a police officer.