Charges formally filed against Madison man in crash that killed 3 teens

MADISON, Wis. — The man accused of causing a deadly Middleton crash that killed three local high school students in early October has been formally charged in the teens’ deaths.

According to online court records, 30-year-old Eric Mehring was charged Monday with three counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, three counts of second-degree reckless homicide and two counts of second-degree recklessly endangering safety.

A criminal complaint filed against Mehring suggests he told police he crashed into the teens’ vehicle on West Mineral Point Road the night of Oct. 2 while going 75 mph in an area where the speed limit drops from 55 to 45 mph. Breath test results from a recently filed search warrant indicate Mehring was driving with three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system at the time. According to the complaint, the breath test registered his BAC at .242.

After the crash, Mehring allegedly told a responding deputy he was on his way home from a local bar.

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The three teens — Simon Bilessi, Jack Miller and Evan Kratochwill — died at the scene of the crash. Court documents suggest the Medical Examiner found they died of blunt force trauma because of the crash. When police arrived at the scene, they found their vehicle fully engulfed in flames.

Bilessi was a senior at Madison West High School, and Miller and Kratochwill were seniors at Middleton High School.

News of the tragic crash came just days before Homecoming Week at Middleton High School. School officials said they planned to have the Spirit Night activities, football game and homecoming dance go on as planned to give the students the chance to support each other as a community.

In statements shared after the students’ tragic deaths, community members remembered Bilessi, Miller and Kratochwill as “bright lights” in the community. All three teens were involved at their schools. Bilessi was a captain on Madison West High School’s soccer team; Miller played as goalkeeper for Middleton High School’s soccer team, played club hockey, and was involved in student council; Kratochwill was a member of the Middleton High cross country team.

RELATED: Grief and loss: Former West High social worker explains how schools adjust to a student death

As of Tuesday morning, the Dane County Jail did not have Mehring listed as a resident in custody, meaning a mugshot was not available. Court records indicate a warrant for Mehring’s arrest was issued Tuesday morning.

The full criminal complaint filed against Mehring is available below.

Full criminal complaint filed against Eric Mehring