Published: Wed, November 07, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Names released in fatal hit-and-run; police release crash cause

Names released in fatal hit-and-run; police release crash cause

The grandmother of one of three Girl Scouts killed in a Wisconsin hit-and-run crash says the child dreamed of being an animator and shared a love of crafts with her mom, who also died in the accident. Several Girl Scouts sang songs in honor of the victims.

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.

Treu and his passenger, who also turned himself in, allegedly told police that right before the crash they "had been intentionally inhaling chemical vapors", also known as "huffing". "The Girl Scout Movement everywhere stands with our sister Girl Scouts in Wisconsin to grieve and comfort one another in the wake of this awful tragedy". They also were on site Sunday.

"This is a hard time for our students, families and staff", Eliopoulos said in a message to parents.

She said two of the girls killed Saturday attended Halmstad Elementary.

Police say a 21-year-old driver of a pick-up truck veered off the road and hit the troop.

Another girl who was not immediately identified remained hospitalized Monday in stable condition, according to the newspaper. The Chippewa County Sheriff's Office said that authorities are pursuing charges that would include four counts of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle, four counts homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, four counts of hit-and-run involving death, and one count of hit-and-run involving great bodily harm.

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Acevedo says Girl Scouts everywhere stand with "our sister Girl Scouts in Wisconsin to grieve and comfort one another in the wake of this awful tragedy".

Sergeant Daniel Sokup said the driver, Colton Treu, initially fled the scene in the Ford pickup truck but later turned himself in to police.

"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.

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.

Grief counselors will be available for local students at school on Monday.

The Chippewa Falls Police Department in a statement posted to Facebook Saturday evening called it a "truly horrific incident" and extended its condolences to the victims and their families. A third girl was rushed to the hospital and died there. Killed in the crash was Andrew McMorris, 12, a seventh-grader who had just started taking flying lessons and hoped to one day earn his Eagle Scout badge.

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