Girl scouts killed by truck while litter picking on roadside


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. Hinkle's mother, Sara Jo Schneider, 32, was also killed. But by Saturday evening, the 21-year-old turned himself in to the authorities. Colten Treu of Chippewa Falls was arrested for the crash.

Treu is being held in custody on suspicion of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and was due to face court on Monday.

Police say a pickup truck veered off the road into a ditch and struck them.

They were all wearing bright safety vests and were accompanied by several adults, the relative said. Treu sped away from the scene, but later turned himself in.

They were picking up trash along the highway when they were cut down.

"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 US said in a statement Sunday. "Girl Scouts everywhere stand with your during this hard time".

Candles lit the night, songs were sung, and through the grief, hearts were connected. "Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout".

"Chippewa Falls is a close knit community", said Superintendent, Heidi Eliopoulos.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families, friends, fellow students, fellow scouts and everyone else impacted by this", the Chippewa Falls Police Department said.

Police say the 21-year-old driver sped off but later surrendered.

One vigil, outside the Halmstad Elementary School which some of the girls attended, saw hundreds of mourners gather in near freezing rain to pay their respects to the victims.

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Authorities are set to release the names of the girls and the woman who died on Monday.

The head of Girl Scouts of the U.S. says "our hearts are broken" after three Girl Scouts and an adult were struck and killed in what authorities say was a hit-and-run crash along a rural Wisconsin highway.

In a message to parents, Superintendent Heidi Eliopoulos said: "This is a hard time for our students, families and staff".

She expressed gratitude to local first responders. "We will be providing ongoing support for both students (and) families and staff for as long as needed".

"The Lake Hallie Police Department would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the families involved", police said in a statement.

Stay with WEAU 13 News as new information becomes available.

Sergeant Daniel Sokup of the Lake Hallie Police said the stretch of road had no blind spots, with the crash occurring just before an incline in the road.

GSNWGL says cards may be sent to the Eau Claire Service Center.

Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District Director of Human Resources & Public Relations, Michelle Golden, says the district is "deeply saddened by this tragedy".

Lake Hallie police are leading the investigation. Three of the girls and an adult volunteer were killed. A fourth girl who was struck by the pickup remained hospitalized in critical condition as of Saturday evening. At the time of the crash, all members of the group were in the ditch on the west side of County Road P just south of the Highway 29 overpass bridge.

One girl who survived the crash is in critical condition in hospital. Two other children were injured. Sokup says he will be charged with four homicide counts. The vehicle of interest 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.