Illinois: Pending law grad Laura Anne LaPlante took a cab; Eric Johnson drove his booze cruise…she is dead, he faces DUI murder rap

Eric Johnson Chicago DUI fatal 050414 GRAPHIC

WGN-TV, Michael B. Lanahan (inset) )
Laura La Plante was killed in a crash with a wrong-way driver on Lake Shore Drive.


From Chicago Tribune
05/04/2014 — A woman who died after the taxi in which she was riding was hit by a suspected drunken driver going the wrong way on Lake Shore Drive was about to graduate from University of Chicago Law School, authorities said Saturday afternoon.

The driver, whose vehicle collided with the taxi, killing Laura Anne LaPlante, of Hancock, N.H., and injuring himself and two others, was charged in connection with the crash Saturday night.

Erik Johnson, 23, of the 3500 block of North Janssen Avenue, is due in court Sunday. He was charged with reckless homicide and driving under the influence.

“It is with profound sadness” that I tell you that LaPlante died, said University of Chicago Law School Dean Michael H. Schill in a written statement obtained by the Tribune. “This is a heart-rending loss.”

LaPlante was scheduled to graduate this year from the South Side school, which had flags outside at half-staff, according to John Bright, who answered the phone at the school.

LaPlante was the president of the Federalist Society at the school, treasurer for the Law School Republicans, an active member of the St. Thomas More Society, the Law Women’s Caucus and the Edmund Burke Society, and had planned to join the Boston law firm WilmerHale as an associate in the fall after working there last summer as an associate, Schill said……MORE