An Arcadia man faces multiple charges in a New Year's Day crash that killed two people from Independence.
The Trempealeau County Sheriff's Department said that Josue Cruz Escobar, 30, was charged with two felony counts of Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death during a court appearance Friday in Whitehall. Among his eight other charges are Operating While Intoxicated Causing Great Bodily Harm, Operating A Motor Vehicle Without A Valid Driver's License Causing Death, and Operating A Motor Vehicle Without A Valid Driver's License Causing Great Bodily Harm.
On January 1, according to the sheriff's department, a car driven by Escobar was headed south on Highway 93 in the Town of Chimney Rock when it crossed the center line and hit one car, continued south in the northbound lane and hit second vehicle. Two people in Escobar's car, Lizbeth Gonzalez, 19, and Leslie Flores, 19, both of Independence, were killed in the crash. The people in the other two vehicles are recovering from their injuries.
Escobar and another passenger in his vehicle, Jonathan Ochoa, were airlifted to Rochester for treatment of their injuries.
According to Trempealeau County, the Olmsted County Sheriff's Department arrested Escobar in Rochester on January 7.
He is now in the Trempealeau County Jail in Whitehall on a $500,000 cash bond. His next scheduled court appearance is January 17.