A driver who fatally struck three Girl Scouts and a mother along a Wisconsin highway was "huffing" chemicals prior to the deadly crash, police said. The driver was identified as an adult male, Colton Treu age 21 of Chippewa Falls. He is being held on 13 possible charges: four counts of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle, four counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, four counts of hit-and-run involving death and one count hit-and-run involving great bodily harm.
The community of Chippewa Falls gathered Sunday evening at Halmstad Elementary, where hundreds of people remembered the lives of the victims in Saturday's tragedy.
The children were all fourth graders at Halmstad Elementary School and Southview Elementary School in nearby Chippewa Falls, about 90 miles (145 kilometres) east of Minneapolis.
A fourth girl struck by the pickup was in critical condition Saturday evening.
The Girl Scouts from Chippewa Falls had adopted the hilly, rural stretch of County Road P in western Wisconsin, so, with trash bags in hand, they dutifully picked up litter Saturday afternoon, tunics and sashes supplanted by lime-green safety vests.
After turning himself in to police, Treu admitted to police that he and the passenger in his vehicle had intentionally inhaled chemicals, which is commonly referred to as "huffing", just prior to the incident.
Golden says both the district and school crisis teams have put together support networks for students, staff and families.
Jayna Kelley, 9; Autum Helgeson, 10; Haylee Hickle, 10, and her mother, Sara Jo Schneider, 32, were all killed when they were hit by a auto while picking up trash along a Wisconsin county highway shortly before noon Saturday, said Lake Hallie police. Two other scouts were injured.
Officials say two area Girl Scouts and one adult are dead.
The driver fled the area, but later turned himself in. The other was taken to the hospital by ambulance.
"The area is not an unsafe area", Sgt. Sokup told the Associated Press.
The Lake Hallie Police Department would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the families involved. Authorities say another 10-year-old Girl Scout who was injured, but not identified, is hospitalized in stable condition.
CHIPPEWA COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) -The Lake Hallie Police Department is searching for a vehicle after a fatal hit-and-run involving multiple victims in Chippewa County.
Lake Hallie police said Monday that the deceased were: 9-year-old Jayna Kelley and 10-year-old Autum Helgeson, both of Lake Hallie, and 10-year-old Haylee Hickle and her 32-year-old mother, Sara Jo Schneider, from the Town of Lafayette. Emergency helicopters were also flown in to assist.