Driver in fatal wreck an investigator for public defender’s office

Maria Aiello

The survivor of a fiery wreck that claimed the life of an Aurora woman works for the Will County Public Defender’s Office as an investigator.

Maria Aiello, 46, remains at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood two weeks after the crash at the intersection of Glenwood and Springfield avenues.

Aiello, also known as Maria Medrano, was first taken to AMITA Saint Joseph Medical Center — feet from where the crash occurred — and then transported by helicopter to Loyola University Medical Center.

Aiello was driving a Chevy Trax when she slammed into the back of an Acura TLX that was stopped at a red light on Glenwood Avenue at Springfield Avenue about 8:15 p.m. March 15, according to a crash report.

The Acura was pushed into a tree and burst into flames, police said.

Officers “attempted to extinguish the flames with multiple fire extinguishers long enough to remove the driver from the vehicle, however the fire would not cease,” a police report said.

“Multiple attempts were made to open the driver and passenger door of the vehicle, however the doors would not function,” the report said.

The driver of the Acura, 50-year-old licensed clinical professional counselor Ednalice Pagan-Romney, was found dead in the burned out vehicle.

Pagan-Romney’s office is two blocks from the scene of the crash.

A February 2017 press release announced Aiello was hired as an investigator with the public defender’s office.

“Prior to joining the Will County Public Defender’s Office, she was employed by the Chief Judge’s Office of the 12th Judicial Circuit Court as a Court Interpreter,” the press release said.

Public Defender Mike Renzi said he and his office have received no information about Aiello or the crash.

No criminal charges have been filed against Aiello in connection with the wreck.