Obit: Zakrzewicz, Dorothy M. (1931 - 2001)

Contact: Robert Lipprandt 

Surnames: Belmonte, Hamill, Hansen, Szak, Wisniewski, Zakrzewicz

----Source: The Chicago Tribune (Chicago, IL) 6/25/2001

Zakrzewicz, Dorothy M. (Wisniewski) (8 FEB 1931 - 23 JUN 2001)

Police quiet about fatal car chase
Woman's family puzzled about details of crash
By Sean D. Hamill, Tribune staff reporter.

More than a day after a 70-year-old Wisconsin woman was killed by the driver of a car being pursued by La Grange police, authorities Sunday refused to release any details about the two-car crash, angering the woman's family.

"We haven't been told anything," said Phil Zakrzewicz, one of seven children of Dorothy Zakrzewicz of Thorp, Wis., who was killed late Saturday in the crash in Hillside.

Her husband, Eugene; a daughter, Connie Szak; and her former son-in-law, Anthony Szak, were treated for minor injuries at Loyola University Medical Center.

"There's some responsibility [for her death] on both police and the driver [of the second car]," Phil Zakrzewicz said. Police "don't need to be chasing through the city. What was the sense? I guess I just became a believer in a no-chase policy."

Though La Grange officials confirmed the chase started there, they refused to release details.
La Grange Police Lt. Patrick O'Connor said the investigation is continuing and his office would release a statement Monday. He said his department does have a "limited chase policy, but I can't go into particulars now."

"There are two departments [Hillside and La Grange] involved in this now, and I'm trying to sort through that," O'Connor said.

La Grange Village President Tim Hansen also refused to comment Sunday.

The driver of the fleeing car was treated for minor injuries in the crash at Roosevelt and Mannheim Roads. No charges had been filed late Sunday.

Dorothy Zakrzewicz and her family members were in town for her sister-in-law's birthday party and were driving back to their hotel after a dinner with family. A party planned for Sunday at Navy Pier was canceled after the accident, and family members gathered at the sister-in-law's Forest Park home Sunday.

Eugene Zakrzewicz Jr., another of Dorothy's sons, said he was told Anthony Szak was driving and they had a green light when they were hit broadside by a speeding car.

Their car rolled over, and Dorothy Zakrzewicz was thrown from the vehicle, said Westchester Fire Capt. Richard Belmonte, whose department responded to the crash.

Dorothy Zakrzewicz was a farm wife most of her life, said her son Eugene Jr., but she also worked in a nursing home at times.

Her husband was at least the third generation to work at the 300-acre dairy farm about 40 miles east of Eau Claire, Wis. Another of the Zakrzewicz's sons, Dave, now runs the farm.
Dorothy Zakrzewicz was also a volunteer in her church and a painter, quilter and musician, her sons said.

"She was the most wonderful person in the world," Phil Zakrzewicz said.

Note: Birth information was extracted from the Social Security Death Index.



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