The driver, 21-year-old Colton Treu, turned himself into police
A driver who killed three Girl Scouts as they collected litter by the highway was inhaling chemical vapors, or huffing, before the crash, police said last night.
Colten Treu’s pick-up truck veered off the road and hit four girls and a mother in Lake Hallie, Wisconsin on Saturday morning.
The 21-year-old sped off but later handed himself in to police.
Treu, who was driving one passenger in his black Ford F-150 when he crashed, is being held on suspicion of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and homicide by negligent use of a vehicle.
This morning police revealed nine-year-old Jayna Kelley and 10-year-old Autum Helgeson, both of Lake Hallie, were killed.
Ten-year-old Haylee Hickle and her 32-year-old mother, Sara Jo Schneider, from the Town of Lafayette, were also killed.
Authorities say another 10-year-old girl scout whose name has not been released is hospitalized in stable condition.
The fourth-graders from the Chippewa Falls School District were picking up trash along County Highway P as part of a community service project when they were struck.
Tire tracks marked with spray paint lead to where a vehicle struck the three girls and the adult
Ten-year-old Haylee Hickle was among the three Girl Scouts tragically killed on Saturday
Mourners at the school held a candlelit vigil to pay tribute to the girls. Pictured: Haylee Hickle
The 32-year-old mother, Sara Jo Schneider, from the Town of Lafayette, who was killed
Last night mourners at the school held a candlelit vigil to pay tribute to the girls.
The victims were among seven children and five adults who were working in the ditches along the roadway.
‘Our hearts are broken for the girls and families of the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes,’ CEO Sylvia Acevedo of Girl Scouts of the USA said in a statement Sunday.
‘The Girl Scout Movement everywhere stands with our sister Girl Scouts in Wisconsin to grieve and comfort one another in the wake of this terrible tragedy.’
Lake Hallie police Sgt. Daniel Sokup said the pickup, a black Ford F-150, crossed a lane and veered into a roadside ditch, striking the victims. Medical personnel are pictured at the scene on Saturday
Girl Scouts sing as hundreds of community members turn out in the rain Sunday evening for a candlelight vigil at Halmstad Elementary School in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. The event was in remembrance of three fourth grade Girl Scouts and a parent who died Saturday
They were killed after being struck by a pickup truck while their troop was picking up trash along a rural highway
Sherri Jasper, a Girl Scout board member and counselor at Halmstad Elementary School, leads the program for a candlelight vigil at the school
Girl Scout Jessica Lauterbach, 12, of Altoona, Wisconsin, attends the vigil on Sunday evening
A relative of the adult victim struck and killed by a vehicle Saturday looks at the path he thought the truck took when it veered off Wisconsin County Highway
Counselors, faith leaders and trained school staff would be available at least through Monday at the two elementary schools, according to Chippewa Falls School District Superintendent Heidi Eliopoulos.
‘This is a difficult time for our students, families and staff,’ Eliopoulos said in a message to parents.
‘We will be providing ongoing support for both students (and) families and staff for as long as needed.’
Teddy bears, balloons and candles sat on two wooden benches in front of Halmstad Elementary School on Sunday while dozens of families met inside with faith leaders and counselors.
Families did the same at Southview Elementary School, the other school in Chippewa Falls the girls attended, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
‘It’s been very nice. There’s been a lot of people – it’s been a very supportive environment,’ said Michelle Golden, human resources director for the school district.
Lake Hallie police Sgt. Daniel Sokup said the pickup, a black Ford F-150, crossed a lane and veered into a roadside ditch, striking the victims.
Other members of the troop were picking up trash from the opposite shoulder. They were all wearing bright green safety clothing.
Teddy bears, flowers, and candles were placed on benches outside Halmstad Elementary School in Chippewa Falls as a memorial to the three Girl Scouts and the parent
The Star Tribune reported that the crash happened before a hill and there were no blind spots, and Sokup said it was ‘not an unsafe area.’
But Cecily Spallees, a personal care attendant at a group home near the crash site, told the newspaper that drivers regularly speed on that stretch of road, which quickly changes from a 55-mph to a 35-mph zone.
‘I’m always telling one of my residents that he shouldn’t walk this strip at night,’ Spallees said. It’s not safe.’
Troop 3055’s regional council, the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes, expressed its condolences on Facebook and said a vigil will be held Sunday evening at the girls’ school.