Not guilty: Maurice Lard makes plea, charged in connection with fiery crash that killed Julian Hicks

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) — A 47-year-old Milwaukee man, charged in connection with a crash that killed a teenager, has pleaded not guilty.

Maurice Lard

Maurice Lard

Maurice Lard is facing one count of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle in the death of 19-year-old Julian Hicks.

Lard will stand trial in the case.

Hicks died following a traffic accident near 24th and Fairmount on Saturday morning, June 21st.

Hicks was the lone occupant of a vehicle struck broadside by another vehicle while entering an alley around 1:15 a.m.

According to the criminal complaint, when officials arrived on scene they observed a Ford Tempo on its side and a Chevrolet Impala next to it. Both vehicles were on fire.

Shortly after, the Milwaukee Fire Department arrived on scene, extinguished the fire and removed Hicks from the Tempo.

Julian Hicks

Julian Hicks

Hicks was then conveyed to St. Mary’s Hospital, where he was subsequently pronounced dead.

A witness told authorities that prior to police arrival, he heard a loud crash, looked outside and observed two vehicles that had been involved in a crash.

The witness says he then heard several pops and then observed the vehicles start on fire. The witness says he then called 911 and ran toward the crash — where he observed a police detective and a male in a white shirt near the vehicles.

A Milwaukee police detective, the first unit on the scene, sustained minor injuries while attempting to rescue Hicks from his burning vehicle. Unfortunately, the detective’s heroic attempts weren’t enough to save Hicks’ life.

Following the crash, a Milwaukee police officer made contact with Maurice Lard, who was wearing a white shirt and standing near the vehicles.

According to the complaint, Lard stated that he was the owner and operator of the vehicle that was involved in the crash. During that time, the officer detected the odor of alcohol coming from Lard’s breath and noticed his speech was impaired. The officer also noted the Lard had bloodshot eyes.

Lard admitted to consuming several drinks at a tavern prior to the accident, according to the complaint.

According to the complaint, Lard claimed he was at the intersection when the other vehicle struck his from behind. However, officials noted that Lard’s vehicle had no rear-end damage.

A preliminary investigation of the scene indicates that the accident occurred mid-block, in front of the mouth of the northern alleyway on W. Fairmount Avenue, between North 24th Place and North 24th Street. It was noted that the accident occurred in the westbound lane, which is the oncoming traffic lane for Lard’s path of travel at the time of the accident.

Officials state that Lard’s vehicle sustained substantial front-end damage and Hicks’ vehicle sustained substantial damage to the driver’s side, consistent with being “t-boned” by another vehicle.

Following the crash, Lard was arrested and conveyed to St. Joseph’s Hospital where a sample of his blood was collected within three hours of the crash.

According to the complaint, Lard’s blood contained 0.126 g/100ml blood alcohol content.

Several hours later, a Milwaukee police detective spoke with Lard. During that time, Lard admitted to having several alcoholic beverages prior to the crash. Lard also stated that he believed he was struck by the other vehicle at the scene of the crash, and claimed he could not recall where the other vehicle came from.

If convicted, Lard could face up to $100,000 in fines, 25 years in prison, or both.

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