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‘He was unstoppable’: Family remembers Simon Bilessi, teen killed in Middleton car crash

“I want to believe that it’s a dream. But the reality is that’s not a dream. That’s a reality.”
Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 10:16 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2021 at 10:32 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Inside his den, Robert Ndoyi brought three items out for display: an ear of corn, a burnt ear of corn and a piece of dreadlocked hair.

The uncle of Simon Bilessi, one of three teens killed Saturday night in the town of Middleton, explained, the items were found at the scene of the fiery car crash. Bilessi was in a car with two of his best friends Jack Miller and Evan Kratochwill when a vehicle came from behind and hit theirs, sending them off the road and into a farm field along West Mineral Point Road.

Ndoyi said the two ears of corn showed the “before” and “after” of the crash.

Eunice Ndoyi, Bilessi’s younger cousin, said she found the piece of hair. “This one flew before the body got burned,” Bilessi’s mother Aline added.

While Bilessi, 17, was born in France, he had lived with Robert and Aline since 2014. They are his biological aunt and uncle, but they just call Bilessi their son.

“He was unstoppable,” Aline said. “He is purpose driven, and whatever comes in, he takes it, shakes it and moves on.”

Simon Bilessi
Simon Bilessi(Courtesy of Qeren Ndoyi)

Bilessi was a senior at Madison West High School and captain of the soccer team.

Miller and Kratochwill were seniors at Middleton High School. All three students were honored Wednesday at Middleton’s homecoming parade.

Hours before Bilessi passed away, Aline remembered joking with him in the kitchen: “We talked about ‘Are you ever going to cut those dreadlocks?’ He said never.”

“I was with Simon that Saturday the entire day,” Robert said. “He even helped me when my lightbulbs were out.”

Robert and Aline said they were woken up by their other children in the middle of the night. Bilessi’s sister Qeren said the three friends were leaving a get-together, and word spread about a crash.

Eunice said, “I called Simon, and then went straight to voicemail. With me, Simon usually always picks up, so that created a little bit of panic.”

The Dane County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the news.

“I want to believe that it’s a dream. But the reality is that’s not a dream. That’s a reality,” Robert said.

Aline said she made plans with Bilessi for graduation, to show his biological parents the man he had become. “I was talking to him,” she said, “’You didn’t do it. You didn’t do right to me. We did not agree on that, and that was not the plan we made.’”

While in mourning, Aline said the family has faith and hopes to see Bilessi again. “He’s waiting for us, so we have to prepare, lead [a] better life, follow him.”

She added, “But he’s not coming back to us.”

The family has prepared a funeral service open to the public. It is set for Saturday, Oct. 9 at 2:30 p.m. at High Point Church in Madison.

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