The suspect fought for the steering wheel before killing 3 Girl Scouts and a mom, prosecutor says

Posted at 9:04 AM, Nov 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-06 11:04:23-05

By Jay Croft, CNN

A 21-year-old driver struggled with his passenger over the steering wheel before driving his truck into a group of Girl Scouts, killing three and one of their mothers, prosecutors said Monday.

The passenger told authorities he tried to correct the vehicle Saturday when he noticed Colten Treu crossing the center line near Lake Hallie, Wisconsin, said Chippewa County District Attorney Wade Newell.

Treu was “somewhat out of it,” the passenger said, and grabbed the wheel back, drove off the roadway and struck the group, Newell said.

A fourth girl, 10, was injured. She in stable condition Monday at a hospital.

Treu and the passenger told police they had been “huffing,” or intentionally inhaling chemical fumes, police have said.

The fatal incident was similar to one in September, when Treu crashed his car and police found methamphetamine and THC in it, Newell said in court.

After Saturday’s fatal wreck, Treu went home, hid his truck in the garage and took another car out to a party with friends, Newell said.

CNN has been unable to reach Treu; it’s not clear whether he has an attorney.

Treu is due back in court Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET. He is being held on $250,000 bond.

Police have 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.