Girl scouts and mom killed in Wisconsin


Yasmin Vizguerra, Reporter

The unspoken sadness has overcome the citizens of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, where three girl scouts and a mom were killed in a hit-and-run crash. They were killed on Nov. 3 while they cleaned garbage from out of a ditch in Lake Hallie. Although three sadly passed away, a fourth girl is battling serious injuries and is in stable condition.

      The driver who killed the girls and mom was said to have veered out of his lane, crossing over into the center lane and drove into the ditch. The suspected driver, 21-year old Colton Treu, fled until he turned himself in hours after the incident. Treu is to be charged with four counts of homicide. Sgt. Daniel Sokup of the Lake Hallie police department said it is assumed the driver inhaled chemicals before he drove.

      Treu had a passenger in the car with him, who also turned himself in, saying when he noticed Treu veering he took control of the steering wheel before they got in an argument before driving into the ditch.

       On Monday, Treu appeared in court and was held on a $250,000 cash bond and returned on Tuesday where 11 charges were filed against him including four counts of vehicular homicide and four counts of hit-and-run resulting in death which alone could account for up to 160 years imprisonment. He’s set to appear back in court on December 11. The fatal accident was similar to one in September where Treu also crashed his car while police found methamphetamine and THC in it. Treu was also found guilty of “operating with a prohibited blood alcohol concentration in November 2014 before he was released on bond on October 2.

     “Words cannot describe our Lake Hallie community’s sorrow for the witnesses, victims, and their families. This senseless crash was completely avoidable.” said Police Chief Cal D.

     “This is so sad, it’s scary how people can be so senseless and can just do such a thing,” said Maddie Gierzynski (‘20).

     According to The Star Tribune, the crash happened before a hill that had no blind spots, which meant it wasn’t at all an unsafe area. However, a witness, Cecily Spallees, said drivers often go too fast on that road and the speed limit changes from a 55-mph to 35-mph quickly.

     On Sunday night, hundreds of Girl Scouts gathered, candles in hand and in the rain, to sing songs of grief and sadness. They mostly sang “Make new friends” and “On my honor,” which are old Girl Scout standards that took on a new meaning during the vigil.

     Investigators said the seven Girl Scouts and five parent volunteers were cleaning the road that Saturday before Treu’s pickup drove into the ditch.

     Two girls and a parent died at the scene while the third girl died at the hospital. The participants were cleaning County road P. when around 11:41 a.m., Treu’s pickup left the road in the ditch.

     According to the police, the Girl Scouts and volunteers all wore visible safety vests. In a statement, the Girl Scouts of America said, “Our hearts are with our Girl Scout sisters in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. No words can ease the pain of a tragedy of this magnitude. Girl Scouts everywhere stand with you during this difficult time.”

     In front of the girls’ elementary school, teddy bears, balloons, candles, and bouquets of flowers sat on two wooden benches.

“Being a girl scout, I can personally say that it’s really sad and affects everyone, even people who might not know them,” said Briana Reagan (‘21).

The girls’ funerals were held on Thursday, and to be eulogized later in a separate service.