An Arcadia man pleads no contest to charges he caused the deaths of two people in a New Year's Day crash in Trempealeau County in 2017.
Josue Cruz Escobar made the pleas to two counts of Homicide by Intoxicated Use of Vehicle during a hearing in Trempealeau County Circuit Court in Whitehall Monday. Eight other charges, six felonies and two misdemeanors, were dismissed, but can be considered when Escobar is sentenced on April 4.
He was originally scheduled for trial in February.
On January 1, 2017, 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 a second vehicle. Two people in Escobar's car, Lizbeth Gonzalez, 19, and Leslie Flores, 19, both of Independence, were killed in the crash.
Three people in the other two vehicles, a Holmen man and an Arcadia couple, were injured in the crash.
Escobar and another passenger in his vehicle, Jonathan Ochoa, were flown to Mayo-Rochester for their injuries.
Escobar, who was arrested in Rochester on January 7, was eventually jailed in Trempealeau County on a $500,000 cash bond. He's remained in jail since that time.