Web Extra! Updated 3:29 p.m. 5/27/08
A Forest Park woman who was struck and killed by a drunken driver early Saturday morning may have also been intoxicated, according to police, however, investigators are still waiting for toxicology reports.
Lydia Salmanis, 50, was apparently lying in an alley behind 7301 Roosevelt Road when she was crushed to death, authorities said. An Oak Park man, 39-year-old Kevin J. Olis, has been arrested and is facing felony charges for allegedly killing the woman.
“It appears she just fell in the alley,” Deputy Police Chief Tom Aftanas said. “The statements we’re getting, she may have been intoxicated, but we’re not 100 percent sure.”
A report in the May 28 print edition of the Forest Park Review states that Salmanis was walking through the alley when she was struck. Forest Park Police declined to release details of the incident over the weekend, and that statement was attributed to a friend of Salmanis.
As of Tuesday afternoon authorities had not released a department report completed by the responding officer, though Aftanas did state that Olis’ blood-alcohol content was measured at .089. That figure indicates Olis was legally drunk when he struck Salmanis shortly after midnight. State law dictates that a motorist is intoxicated when their BAC measures .08.
The victim’s longtime boyfriend Dave Petty said he was with Salmanis for much of the day before her death and was shocked when officers arrived at his door to tell him about the accident. The two had spent a “typical day,” he said, working on Salmanis’ flower beds before heading out in the evening to a local bar.
“She was a really good person,” Petty, 33, said. “She loved gardening. She was a frequent traveler and had visited Mexico and various countries in Europe.”
Salmanis was killed less than a half-mile from her home on the 1300 block of Elgin Avenue. She had lived in Forest Park for at least 20 years, Petty said.
Olis was taken into custody shortly after the incident when police received a phone call from a witness describing the vehicle that allegedly struck Salmanis, said Aftanas. An officer patrolling the area spotted Olis several blocks away from where Salmanis lay dead.
Olis is facing two felony charges of aggravated drunken driving resulting in death, and one count of leaving the scene of an accident, according to police.