A Wisconsin community is grieving the sudden loss of four lives, as a mother and three girl scouts were killed in a hit-and-run crash over the weekend that was allegedly the result of the driver "huffing".
A young driver was inhaling chemical vapours, or huffing, just prior to striking and killing three Girl Scouts and a mother and critically injuring a fourth girl who had been picking up trash along a rural Wisconsin highway, police said Monday.
Sokup says the 21-year-old driver, Colten Treu of Chippewa Falls, sped off but later surrendered and will be charged with four counts of homicide. They were all wearing bright green safety clothing.
Counselors, faith leaders and trained school staff would be available at least through November 5 at two elementary schools, according to Chippewa Falls School District Superintendent Heidi Eliopoulos. "We will be providing ongoing support for both students (and) families and staff for as long as needed".
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"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 United States of America said in a statement on Sunday, as vigils were held in the girls' community.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that teddy bears, balloons and candles sat on two wooden benches in front of Halmstad Elementary on Sunday afternoon. A fourth girl who was struck by the pickup remained hospitalized in critical condition as of Saturday evening.
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.
The 21-year-old is in custody and is expected to be charged with four counts of homicide through the negligent use of a vehicle, Mr Sokup told the Star-Tribune.
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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.
The incident is still under investigation by the Lake Hallie Police Department. Other members of the troop were picking up trash from the opposite shoulder. Three of the girls and an adult volunteer were killed. His passenger in the vehicle also turned himself in.
CHIPPEWA COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) - The Lake Hallie Police Department is investigating a fatal hit-and-run involving five people.
One girl who survived the crash is in critical condition in hospital. The two-ton pickup slammed into the Scouts, visiting tragedy on the town of 14,000 before speeding off. Sergeant Dan Sokup says one victim was air lifted to the hospital and one victim was taken by ambulance. 29 overpass, chattering and laughing when the Ford F-150 ploughed into them.
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