UPDATED: Driver, Infiniti SUV sought in double-fatal accident

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Gazette staff
Sunday, April 20, 2014

TOWN OF HARMONY—Investigators are asking for the public's help in finding the sport-utility vehicle involved in a hit-and-run fatal crash Sunday near Janesville.

A fog lamp found at the scene was from an Infiniti QX4, model years 2001-03, according to a news release Monday from the Rock County Sheriff's Office.

Witnesses told investigators the SUV was of a dark color, perhaps blue or black.

Authorities are looking for the driver of the Infiniti, which they believe was involved in the accident Sunday night on Highway 14 just west of East Old Humes Road.

The vehicle left the scene and as of Monday evening had not been located.

Two motorcyclists, Mitchell J. Vance, 24, of 6120 E. Lone Lane,  Janesville, and Devin J. Julius, 18, of 2317 W. Burbank Ave., Janesville, died from injuries they suffered in the crash.

Capt. Todd Christiansen of the sheriff's office detective bureau said the most serious charge the Infiniti's driver might face is homicide by reckless use of a motor vehicle, but all the facts aren't in, so any talk of charges is speculation.

Leaving the scene of a fatal accident also is a serious charge, Christiansen noted.

The preliminary investigation showed five motorcycles were traveling west on Highway 14 behind a Toyota Sienna. The driver of the Toyota took evasive action to avoid the eastbound Infiniti that had crossed the centerline on a curve.

The Infiniti then struck the lead motorcycle, driven by Vance, and the following motorcycle, driven by Julius, investigators believe.

Three other motorcyclists were able to avoid the collision.

Julius was transported to Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center in Janesville, where he was pronounced dead at 8:50 p.m. Vance was pronounced dead at the scene.

A reconstruction team responded, and Highway 14 was closed from Harmony Town Hall Road to Wright Road for nearly six hours.

The sheriff's office is seeking information on anyone who knows anything about the mid-sized Infiniti SUV. The vehicle likely would have front and driver's-side damage, including the missing bumper-mounted fog lamp assembly and a missing wheel well cover.

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