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Thursday, April 9, 2009
Three Men Turned Over to Immigration Officials After Fatal Crash
Facing deportation without hearing, according to USICE
By H. Nelson Goodson
April 9, 2009
Village of Richfield, WI -A fatal crash that claimed three lives two Sunday’s ago has Immigration officials holding three brothers suspected of being in the country illegally. The brothers admitted to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials that they are from Mexico.
Ricardo Guerrero-Luna, 38, had a Wisconsin driver’s license and has been in the country since about 1996, according to investigators. Ricardo was driving a flatbed truck from Terra Tec Landscapes, a company where he and his two brothers work for when it collided with a sport utility vehicle carrying five members of a family heading to church at the Victory International Fellowship, in Brookfield.
Last week Wednesday, Washington County deputies investigating the accident in a report blamed Ricardo for going “too fast for conditions.” The accident occurred about 8:54 am on March 29, north of Highway Q between Monches and Elmwood roads, according to authorities. The SUV was heading southbound on Highway 164 with seven people inside. Ricardo was traveling with his two other brothers Armando Guerrero-Luna, 31, and Javier Guerrero-Luna, 30, at the time of the accident. All three men are from Milwaukee.
Investigators say, Ricardo lost control in the snowy and icy conditions that day. Karl Ziebart, 42, the SUV driver; Luke, his 9-year-old son; and family friend Cara Peters, 12, were killed in the impact. Four other passengers were seriously injured, and expected to survive. They were identified as Karl's wife Denise, 40, their son Zachariah, 11, and daughter Amber, 14, also injured was Cara's brother Devon Peters, 11.
Ricardo was given a $397.20 citation (ticket) on Tuesday, for driving too fast for conditions and operating a vehicle on the wrong side of the road but won't face criminal charges. The tree men are being held at the Dodge County Jail and will be deported without a hearing, according to USICE officials.
Washington County officials are now investigating Terra Tec and the Guerrero-Lunas' employment records. Washington County deputies said in a report that road conditions were nasty, slushy and icy, when the two vehicles collided on Highway 164 in Washington County.
“The vehicles actually both turned in the same direction. Once the truck started crossing the other line, the other driver attempted to avoid it, and so they ended up hitting side to side,” Washington County Sheriff Dale Schmidt said.