Wisconsin Community Mourns After Girl Scouts, Mother Killed in Crash

November 04, 2018 10:13 PM

The suspect in a hit-and-run crash that killed three girl scouts and a mother near Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Saturday is in custody, according to authorities.

Twenty-one-year-old Colten Treu of Chippewa Falls initially fled the crash but later turned himself in. The Chippewa County Jail confirmed Sunday he is in their custody on suspicion of homicide by negligent use of a vehicle, intoxication and hit and run. Treu has not been charged yet.

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Also Sunday, a release from the Chippewa Falls School District confirmed the three Girl Scouts were students in the district.

Two of the girls went to Halmstad Elementary and the third was a student at Southview Elementary. The mother of the Southview student was also killed in the crash.

"There are a lot of people hurting on behalf of our children right now," Superintendent Heidi Eliopoulos said at a press conference Sunday.

The group was cleaning up trash along County Road P at the State Highway 29 overpass in Lake Hallie when they were struck around 11:40 a.m. Saturday, according to the Lake Hallie Police Department.

RELATED: 1 Woman, 3 Girl Scouts Killed after Being Struck by Vehicle

The three girls and the parent were killed in the crash. Another girl remains in critical condition. Eliopoulos said the names of the victims would be released by law enforcement Monday.

"Chippewa Falls is a close-knit community," she said. "These kids are part of my heart."

A candlelight vigil was held at Halmstad Sunday evening.

"Horrible, worst thoughts for any family to go through," Stephaine Coutts said. "It's good to show, we are a community, we're here for everyone part of the family."

Grief counselors, faith leaders and therapy dogs will be available to students, staff and parents in the district on Monday.  

The Girl Scouts national organization released the following statement Sunday:

"Our hearts are broken for the girls and families of the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes. We ask for privacy for the council, and for the families who are mourning the tragic loss of loved ones today. The Girl Scout Movement  everywhere stands with our sister Girl Scouts in Wisconsin to grieve and comfort one another in the wake of this terrible tragedy."

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Credits

Anthony Brousseau & Joe Mazan & Beth McDonough

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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