Driver was huffing before crash that killed Girl Scouts and mom

3 Girl Scouts, 1 Woman Killed in Wisconsin Hit-and-Run

3 Girl Scouts, 1 Woman Killed in Wisconsin Hit-and-Run

The western Wisconsin community on Sunday was grieving the deaths of three Girl Scouts and a parent who were collecting trash Saturday along a rural highway when police say a pickup truck veered off the road and hit them before speeding away.

The Chippewa Falls Police Department expressed its condolences to the victims' families and fellow scouts, describing the events as a "truly horrific incident". The driver was identified as an adult male, Colton Treu age 21 of Chippewa Falls.

Treu was being held in the Chippewa County Jail on 13 possible charges, including four counts of intoxicated use of a motor vehicle, Chippewa County Sheriff's Sgt. Robert Jensen said.

Sgt. Daniel Sokup of the Lake Hallie Police Department told the Associated Press that the man will be charged with four counts of homicide through the negligent use of a vehicle.

The victims were picking up trash in the ditches of County Highway P when they were struck Saturday about 11:30 a.m. Police have arrested 21-year-old Colten Treu, of Chippewa Falls. Two other scouts were injured.

Two other girls were taken to hospital with critical injuries; however, doctors could not save one of the girls, who died several hours later. Sergeant Dan Sokup says one victim was air lifted to the hospital and one victim was taken by ambulance.

Police say that after Treu hit the group of Scouts, he sped off, fleeing the scene in his pickup truck.

The driver fled the area, but later turned himself in.

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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.

The four were killed while cleaning garbage out of a ditch in Lake Hallie. The woman who died is the mom of the girl who attended Southview. Hickle's mother, 32-year-old mother, Sara Jo Schneider, was also killed.

A fifth Girl Scout, a 10-year-old girl, remains hospitalized, but is in stable condition, according to police.

Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District spokeswoman Michelle Golden said the district was "deeply saddened by this tragedy" and "hearts and prayers are with the girls and their families", WEAU reported.

The organization says cards may be sent to the Eau Claire Service Center at 4222 Oakwood Hills Pkwy, Eau Claire, WI 54701.

"Our hearts are with our Girl Scout sisters in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin", the Girl Scouts of the United States of America and its CEO, Sylvia Acevedo, posted on Twitter and Facebook. "No words can ease the pain of a tragedy of his magnitude. Girl Scouts everywhere stand with you during this hard time".

On Sunday, hundreds of community members gathered outside Halmstad Elementary School in Chippewa Falls.

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