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Third student killed in Town of Middleton crash attended Madison West

Middleton High School released an update on its response to the crash.
Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 8:22 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 4, 2021 at 8:27 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The third person killed in Saturday’s triple-fatal crash in the Town of Middleton attended Madison West High School, the Madison Metropolitan School District confirmed Monday morning. Previously, the student was only identified as at former Middleton High School student.

The other two people killed in the wreck went to the latter school. Its principal, Peg Shoemaker, had stated that Sunday in a letter to families that was also signed by CSCS High School principal Jill Gutner.

On Monday, MMSD identified Madison West student as Simon Bilessi, and called his death a “heartbreaking loss.” The two Middleton High students were identified as Jack Miller and Evan Kratochwill, whom the MMSD statement described as “equally amazing.”

The Dane County Sheriff’s Office provided an update Monday afternoon, saying there are charges pending for a 30-year-old Madison man allegedly involved in the crash. He was unnamed and police say he is currently hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

A memorial honoring the three students killed in Saturday night's crash.
A memorial honoring the three students killed in Saturday night's crash.(WMTV-TV/Curt Lenz)

New Middleton High School statement

As the Middleton High School community returns to class following the death of two students and one who previously went there, its principal painted the feeling across the school in a new statement Monday morning, describing them as “heartbroken.”

“These students were both wonderful scholars, athletes and human beings,” Principal Peg Shoemaker wrote. “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.”

The high school has not released the students’ names, citing respect for the families, and NBC15 News is not currently reporting them until we obtain greater confirmation. The Madison Metropolitan School District confirmed Monday morning that the former Middleton High School student attended Madison West High School. It also did not release its student’s name.

According to the Middleton High School statement, high school student services and leadership staff met Sunday, the day after the crash, to develop a plan to support the Middleton High community. They intended to share it with students and staff Monday morning and are offering them calm spaces, activities and support. The district also opened its doors Sunday evening for a for students to come grieve the loss of their classmates.

“This is incredibly difficult news for all of us at MHS and our entire high school team is here to support all students,” the statement added. “Our deepest condolences are extended to all who have been impacted by these students’ untimely passing.”

Middleton fiery crash
Middleton fiery crash(WMTV)

The fiery crash occurred around 10:15 p.m. along Karls Road, just south of W. Mineral Point Road, the Dane Co. Sheriff’s Office reported Sunday morning. The rear end of the students’ vehicle was struck by an eastbound driver and sent into a farm field where it was consumed by flames.

All three students were pronounced dead at the scene, the Sheriff’s Office continued. The driver of the other vehicle went into a ditch and sustained non-life-threatening injuries. That driver was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

The wreck, which shut down W. Mineral Point Road, for seven hours, remains under investigation.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help cover the costs of the three boys’ funerals. Rush Wisconsin has also set up a fundraiser specifically for the family of Simon Bilessi, whose family currently lives in France.

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