LACA HALLI, Willis. A western Wisconsin community on Sunday is saddened by the deaths of three girl detectors and a parent who collects garbage along a rural road when police say a truck has jumped out of the way and hit them before it speeds up.
Authorities have not released the names of the girls or women who were hit by the truck on Saturday at Lake Hallie or the name of a fourth surviving girl but was in critical condition at a Minnesota hospital. The girls were fourths and members of the Troop 3055 in nearby Chippewa waterfalls, about 90 miles east of Minneapolis.
"Our hearts are broken for Girls and Families of Scouts of the Northwest Great Lakes Girls," Sylvia Acevedo of the US Girl Scouts said in statements. "The Scout Movement Girl everywhere stands with our sister girls in Wisconsin to mourn and comfort each other after this terrible tragedy."
Hundreds of community members gathered in 40-hour summer nights for a vigil outside the Halmstad Elementary School, where some of the girls were students. Many in the crowd kept candles and umbrellas in the light rain. Several girl detectors sang songs in memory of the victims.
Earlier on Sunday, teddy bears, balloons and candles sat on two wooden benches in front of the elementary Halmstad, while dozens of families met with faith leaders and advisers. Families did the same at Southview, the other school that attended girls, Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
"It was very nice, there were many people – it was a very supportive environment," said Michelle Golden, Chippewa Falls School Human Resources Director.
In a message to the parents, head of research, Haini Eliopoulos, said: "This is a difficult time for our students, families and staff, and we will provide ongoing support for both students and families, and staff as needed.
The police of Lake Hallie Sgt. Daniel Sokup said the pickup, a black Ford F-150, crossed a lane and ran into a terrestrial trench, hitting the victims. Other members of the army took the garbage from the opposite shoulder.
The 21-year-old driver, Colten Treu of Chippewa Falls, rushed but later surrendered. He will be charged with four homicide charges, Sokup said. It was unclear on Sunday if Treu had a lawyer who could talk about him. The police mistakenly referred the name of Treu as "Colton" to the original news.
Sokup said it was not immediately known whether there were any other factors that could lead the driver out of the way. The Star Tribune reported that the crash occurred before a hill and there were no blind spots and Sokup said it was not an "unsafe area".
Cecily Spallees, a personal care worker in a group house close to the crash site, told the newspaper that drivers are regularly driving speeds to this part of the road, which quickly changes from 55 mph to 35 mph.
"I'm always telling one of my residents that you do not have to walk this lane at night," said Spallees. "It is not safe."