Driver was huffing before crash that killed 3 Girl Scouts and 1 adult, police say

Posted at 5:22 PM, Nov 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-05 19:22:11-05

LAKE HALLIE, Wis. — The man police say was driving a truck that killed three Girl Scouts and a woman in Wisconsin had been "huffing," or intentionally inhaling chemical fumes, police said Monday.

The woman was the mother of one of the girls killed Saturday, police said.

Colten Treu, 21, drove his pickup truck into the group of Scouts, the Lake Hallie Police Department said. The girls were wearing highly visible green safety vests while participating in a highway cleanup project.

Treu's bond was set at $250,000. He was due back in court Tuesday.

The Chippewa County Sheriff's Office said he is being held on four counts of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle, four counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, four counts of hit-and-run involving death and one count of hit-and-run involving great bodily harm.

Treu, of Chippewa Falls, fled but later turned himself in to police. So did his passenger. Police say that both told them they were huffing before the accident.

CNN has been unable to reach Treu, who does not yet have an attorney.

Police identified the victims as:

  • Jayna S. Kelley, 9, of Lake Hallie
  • Autum A. Helgeson, 10, of Lake Hallie
  • Haylee J. Hickle, 10, of Lafayette
  • Sara Jo Schneider, 32, Haylee's mother

Another girl, 10, was injured and hospitalized. Police said she was in stable condition Monday.

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe account has been established for the families of those who lost their lives during the Girl Scout trash cleanup. Funds raised will be put towards funeral costs, medical bills, and a Troop #3055 memorial fund established at the Chippewa Community Foundation should any donations remain.