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Warrant alleges other driver in crash that killed 3 teens was drunk, speeding

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)
Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 9:20 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A newly released search warrant indicates the man involved in a crash in Middleton that killed three high school students nearly two weeks ago had a breath alcohol content value of 0.24, three times the legal 0.08 blood alcohol content limit.

The warrant also noted that the test was not given until the driver, Eric Mehring, had been transported to the hospital and was medically stabilized, although it did not state specifically how much time had passed since the crash. At the time of the wreck, authorities described his injuries as serious.

According to the warrant, Mehring, 30, told investigators that he had two rum and Cokes at a Cross Plains bar prior to the crash. A deputy described his eyes afterwards as “glossy and bloodshot.”

Mehring also allegedly admitted he was going approximately 30 mph over the 45 mph speed limit right before his 2016 Jaguar struck the teens’ car from behind. When a deputy asked him how fast he had been going, Mehring reportedly responded “about 75″ and, when asked why he was going that fast, he blamed “over confidence.”

(l-r) Simon Bilessi, Evan Kratochwill, and John "Jack" Miller
(l-r) Simon Bilessi, Evan Kratochwill, and John "Jack" Miller(Jon Szczepanski/Wisocnsin Rush Soccer Club & Middleton-Cross Plains School District)

Two Middleton High School students, John “Jack” Miller and Evan Kratochwill, along with a Madison West High School student Simon Bilessi, were killed in the Oct. 2 crash. Investigators have said Mehring’s vehicle struck from behind the 2013 Chevrolet Cruze that Miller was driving, sending the car into a nearby field where it caught fire.

The Dane Co. Sheriff’s Office is urging prosecutors to file homicide charges against Mehring for their deaths. Sheriff Kalvin Barrett told NBC15 News earlier this week, “This tragic event could’ve been avoided, should’ve been avoided. Due to a very poor decision by Mr. Mehring we lost the lives of three young individuals.”

The Dane Co. District Attorney’s Office has not announced any charges against Mehring at this time. The Sheriff’s Office investigation is still ongoing anyone with information about it is asked to call its tip line at 608-284-6900.

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