David Soto, 47, of Chicago has been charged with aggravated DUI resulting in death as a result of a fatal accident, which took place Tuesday night. Justyna Palka, 26, was in a crosswalk on Columbus Drive at Illinois Street in the Streeterville neighborhood when a tour bus, driven by Soto, hit her. According to witnesses, the driver of the tour bus turned into the intersection while the pedestrians had the right-of-way to cross. No passengers were on the bus at the time of the accident. A witness claimed that Soto looked shocked and was crying when placed in the back of a police car.
According to police, Soto tested positive for cocaine, which resulted in DUI charges. Police also learned during their investigation that Soto was wanted in connection with an investigation of sex offenes involving children. Soto has a criminal record involving aggravated criminal sexual assault. According to the Secretary of State, his commercial driver’s license was suspended in August of 2008 for speeding and driving without insurance. However, his driver’s license was valid at the time of the accident.
Justyna Palka was an ad agency art director. Less than fifteen minutes after the accident, she was declared dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Soto’s first court appearance is scheduled for today.
Tour bus driver charged with DUI in fatal Streeterville accident, www.chicagotribune.com, May 5, 2011
DUI, sex charges filed after fatal bus wreck in Streeterville, www.suntimes.com, May 5, 2011