‘An unspeakable tragedy’: School identifies 3 teens killed in Middleton crash

MADISON, Wis. — Madison school district officials have identified the three high school students who were killed in a fiery crash in Middleton on Saturday.

Tim LeMonds, spokesperson for the Madison Metropolitan School District, also confirmed in a statement Monday morning that one of the people killed was a student at West High School. The student had previously been identified as a former Middleton High School student.

LeMonds identified the three students as Simon Bilessi, Jack Miller and Evan Kratochwill. Bilessi went to Madison West while Miller and Kratochwill attended Middleton High School.

“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,” LeMonds said. “We ask our community to please keep them in your thoughts during this terribly difficult time.”

RELATED: District: 2 students killed in crash went to Middleton High School, 1 was former student

Middleton High School Principal Peg Shoemaker confirmed in an email to parents and families on Sunday that two of those killed were students at the school.

“Our hearts are heavy with this devastating news,” said the email, which was sent by Middleton High School Principal Peg Shoemaker. “We know the only way we will cope with this grief is to be together.”

RELATED: ‘Each of them were bright lights’: Middleton school administrators share new statement on students’ deaths

Officials with the Dane County Sheriff’s Office said the three victims were killed when another vehicle rear-ended the students’ vehicle, causing it to catch fire before coming to a stop in a field near West Mineral Point Road.

All three students were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the other vehicle was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. Authorities have not said if that driver will be charged in the crash.

Dane County authorities are still investigating the crash.

Read MMSD’s full statement below:

“It is with profound sadness to express our shared grief as we mourn the heartbreaking loss of one of our amazing West High School students, Simon Bilessi, as a result of a vehicle crash on Saturday, October 2. Tragically, the vehicle crash also took the lives of two equally amazing Middleton High School students, Jack Miller and Evan Kratochwill.

“A beloved member of our school community, Simon was an excellent student, a tremendous soccer player, and a good friend to all who had the opportunity to meet him. He was an inspiration to many, and although he was at West for only a year, he embraced the Regent family and personified West pride and community spirit.

“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.

“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. West High is providing support for students today in the Van Hise gym and continued support to students and staff throughout the week. 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.”