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Charges pending against man involved in crash that killed 3 teens

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Middleton Crash Memorial

UPDATE: The Dane County Sheriff's Office say charges are pending in a crash that killed three high school students over the weekend. 

According to a press release from the Sheriff's Office, charges are pending against a 30-year-old involved in the crash. The man is currently hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

MIDDLETON (WKOW) -- Three high school students were killed over the weekend after a crash in Middleton. 

In a Monday morning press release, Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) identified Simon Bilessi as the only MMSD student involved in the fatal crash.

Police say a vehicle driving eastbound on West Mineral Point Road around 10:15 Saturday night rear-ended the vehicle with the students inside, sending it into a farm field south of Mineral Point Road. It then started on fire. The three occupants were pronounced dead at the scene.

The other vehicle ended up in the ditch, north of West Mineral Point Road. The driver and sole occupant of that vehicle was transported to a local hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

Tim LeMonds, executive director of communications and public affairs for MMSD said, "losing a child is an unspeakable tragedy, and West High School, along with our neighbors in Middleton, are grieving the loss alongside their families and friends. We ask our community to please keep them in your thoughts during this terribly difficult time." He continued, "the impact something like this has on a community can affect people in different ways. Young adults respond to grief and loss in a number of ways... We encourage parents to contact our student services staff at 608-204-4100 if their child seems unusually upset, worried, withdrawn, or has trouble sleeping—or if they are concerned about their child."

In a release from Middleton-Cross Plains School District, Monday morning, they confirmed two Middleton High School (MHS) seniors Jack Miller and Evan Kratochwill were the other two students involved in the fatal crash.  

Peg Shoemaker, principal of MHS said in a statement, "our MHS community is heartbroken at the loss of two members of our student body. These students were both wonderful scholars, athletes and human beings. Each of them were 'bright lights' within our student body: positive, kind, funny, inclusive. The loss of their presence will impact our students and staff profoundly."

"They're all just great people," says Middleton High Senior Christian Cruz.

Cruz and dozens of other students flocked to the scene of the collision Monday to pay their respects, support each other and add items to an impromptu memorial.

Middleton High Senior Benja Niesen says he had classes with Miller and Kratochwill and worked with both of them at a sporting goods store. Niesen says he was notified of the deaths by a sister of one of the victims.

"I just didn't want it to be real," Niesen says.

Services to help students cope continue to be offered at the two, affected high schools.

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