Driver 'huffing' before fatal hit-and-run with Girl Scout troop, officials say

Hannah Rogers
November 5, 2018

A 21-year-old Chippewa Falls man will be facing 4 counts of Homicide Through Negligent Use of a Vehicle following the fatal hit-and-run that occurred in Lake Hallie, WI on November 3, 2018, according Sgt. Sokup of the Lake Hallie Police Department when speaking with the Associated Press.

He identified the driver as Colton Treu, 21, of Chippewa, Falls, Wisconsin.

Sherri Jasper, a Girl Scout board member and counselor at Halmstad Elementary School, leads the program for a candlelight vigil at the school in Chippewa Falls, Wis., Sunday evening, November 4, 2018.

An adult was also killed and a fourth girl has been critically injured, police said in the U.S. state of Wisconsin on Saturday.

The Girl Scout Troop members - fourth graders at Halmstad Elementary School in Chippewa Falls - were accompanied by several adults and were wearing bright safety vests. Police say Treu had been inhaling chemical vapors before the crash around 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Lake Hallie.

Golden says both the district and school crisis teams have put together support networks for students, staff and families.

Police say they were hit over the weekend when the pickup veered off a rural highway in Lake Hallie as they collected trash along a rural highway and then sped away. They said that drivers tend to speed down that stretch of road, going much faster than the limit, which is 35MPH. The two-ton pickup slammed into the Scouts, visiting tragedy on the town of 14,000 before speeding off.

Two juvenile females and one adult female were pronounced dead at the scene.

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"The area is not an unsafe area", he added.

Hundreds of community members gathered in 40-degree weather Sunday evening for a vigil outside Halmstad Elementary School, where some of the girls were students.

"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 U.S. said in a statement Sunday. He took off but later turned himself in.

The Lake Hallie Police Department extends it's deepest sympathies to the families involved. Sergeant Dan Sokup says one victim was air lifted to the hospital and one victim was taken by ambulance. Striking vehicle is believed to be a black or dark grey Ford F-150 '04-'06 with heavy front end damage and missing both side view mirrors.

Colten Treu, 21, turned himself in to police hours after the crash in Lake Hallie that also sent another girl to the hospital, the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram reports.

Officials say the crash happened at 11:41AM on County P at the 29 overpass near Weber Field.

Anyone with information on the crash is asked to contact the Chippewa County Communications Center.

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