“Girl Scouts leave a place cleaner than they found it.” It’s an old phrase that women who’ve gone through Scouts likely heard some variation of over the years. But on Saturday morning, a trio of Girl Scouts were killed in a tragic accident as they fulfilled this service-forward motto.
The Girl Scouts were gathering litter in Lake Hallie, Wisconsin, when a pickup truck crashed into their group, The Associated Press reported. One adult and three girls were left dead after the incident, and a fourth girl was critically injured. Two of the girls, as well as the adult volunteer, were declared dead at the scene, and a third died in a local hospital, AP reported.
The driver, 21-year-old Colton Treu, originally fled, making the incident a hit and run, but he later turned himself in to police, according to AP. Sgt. Daniel Sokup, from the Lake Hallie Police Department, told AP that Treu’s charges will include four counts of “homicide through the negligent use of a vehicle.” The Lake Hallie Police Department had originally shared a Facebook message describing Treu’s vehicle and asking for community assistance.
The police department also shared a statement, attributed to Sokup, on its Facebook page. “The Lake Hallie Police Department would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the families involved,” the statement reads.
Tonight we are thinking of the Lake Hallie/Chippewa Falls community as they deal with this horrible tragedy. These families and emergency personnel who responded will never be the same. Please, please, please pay attention when you are driving. 602 pic.twitter.com/15XoMI5qt4
— UW-Eau Claire Police (@UWEC_POLICE) November 4, 2018
According to Wisconsin’s WEAU, the Girl Scouts who were killed on Saturday were students at Halmstad Elementary School and Southview Elementary in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. In a statement provided to WEAU, Michelle Golden, the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District’s director of human resources & public relations, said that the district’s “hearts and prayers are with the girls and their families.” The schools will also offer counseling services on Monday, the Leader-Telegram reported.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker shared his condolences in a Twitter statement Saturday. “We send our love and prayers to the families,” Walker wrote in his tweet.
Tonette & I are heartbroken to learn of the tragic deaths of two Girl Scouts & an adult who were killed in a hit and run in Chippewa Co. We send our love and prayers to the families & we pray for two other children who were injured. 🙏🏻
— Governor Walker (@GovWalker) November 3, 2018
The Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes also shared a message about the tragic deaths on Facebook Saturday. “It is with profound sadness that we share the news of a tragic loss in our Girl Scout sisterhood,” the council shared. “Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes asks that you please keep the Nokomis Service Area volunteers and families in your thoughts and prayers as they grapple with this senseless loss.”
A 21-year-old man ran his truck off the road, hit & killed three Girl Scouts & an adult woman who were picking up trash in ditches by the highway.
He drove away- but later turned himself in.
A fourth Girl Scout remains in critical condition.https://t.co/CkhIHo7lCA
— Dianne Gallagher (@DianneG) November 4, 2018
The local Girl Scout council’s Facebook posts also noted that a candlelight vigil for the three Girl Scouts and the adult volunteer will take place on Sunday evening at Halmstad Elementary School.
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