3 girl detectors, adults killed when truck hits troops in Wisconsin

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With Phil Helsel

Three girls were killed and a quarter was in critical condition on Saturday when a truck driver hit the members of a military body of girls collecting rubbish on the side of a Wisconsin road, police said.

An adult woman was also killed during the crash, which happened around 11:41 am. in County Highway P in Lake Hallie, a village northeast of Eau Claire. The Ford F-150 traveled north when it passed over a traffic lane and into the trench, where it hit the team, Lake Hallie Sgt. Daniel Sokup said.

The driver, recognized as Colton Treu, 21, from the Chippewa waterfalls, left the scene, but later he turned himself, the police said. It was not immediately clear which categories he could face. A phone number for Treu could not be found immediately, and it was not clear if he had a lawyer.

"The police station of Lake Hallie would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the families involved," Sokup said in a statement Saturday night, noting that the investigation is still ongoing.

A relative of one of the uninjured girls told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that the children were scouting girls in the fourth grade at the Halmstad Elementary School in Chippewa Falls.

They all wore bright safety vests and were accompanied by several adults, said the relative.

The cause of the crash was not released by the police.

The Chippewa Falls Police Department in a statement posted on Facebook Saturday night described it as a "really scary incident" and extended its condolences to the victims and their families.

"Our thoughts and prayers go to families, friends, classmates, colleagues and all others who have been affected by it," said Chippewa Falls police. "Actually, as a community, it affects each of us, something very precious is lost and nothing can bring it back, we mourn with you."