Published: Tue, November 06, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Driver was ‘huffing’ before crash that killed 3 Girl Scouts, one adult

Driver was ‘huffing’ before crash that killed 3 Girl Scouts, one adult

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

In a statement, the Girl Scouts of America said, "Our hearts are with our Girl Scout sisters in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin". "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".

The names of the deceased have not been released at the time of this post.

Two of them and the adult died at the scene, while the third girl died in hospital. Police identified him as Colton Treu, 21, of Chippewa Falls.

"A tragic and senseless act that happened earlier today in Hallie involving a Halmstad Girl Scout troop has us all asking Why?" the Nokomis Service Area Girl Scouts said in a Facebook post Saturday, on a page that had days earlier been used to inform families about how their daughters could earn outdoor merit badges or remind the troop about Camp Nawakwa Shirt Friday.

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

The girls were in the fourth grade at Halmstad Elementary School in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune quoted a relative of a girl in the troop who was not injured as saying.

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Chippewa County Sheriff's Sgt. Robert Jensen says Treu is being held on 13 possible charges, including four counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.

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.

Girl Scouts sing as hundreds of community members turn out in the rain Sunday evening, November 4, 2018, for a candlelight vigil at Halmstad Elementary School in Chippewa Falls, Wis. A surviving Scout was in critical condition.

Jasper said this tragedy comes as a shock to many, especially to fellow Girl Scouts.

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

"The Lake Hallie Police Department would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the families involved", Sokup said.

This is an ongoing investigation. 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.

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