The man suspected of killing three Girl Scouts and their adult chaperone when he hit them with his pickup truck was allegedly “huffing” chemical vapors before the crash, according to a report from the Star Tribune. The girls were cleaning up litter on the side of a highway as part of an “Adopt-a-Highway” community-service project when they were hit, and all were wearing bright green safety vests. The suspect, 21-year-old Colten Treu, and a passenger in his vehicle turned themselves in the same day after initially fleeing the scene, and allegedly told police that they had been “huffing” shortly before the crash. Treu is expected to appear in court Monday.
The victims have been identified as Jayna S. Kelley, 9; Autumn A. Helgeson, 10; Haylee J. Hickle, 10; and Sara Jo Schneider, 32, the Star Tribune reports. A fourth Girl Scout struck by the truck remained in the hospital Monday. Officials told ABC News that Treu was being held in jail on suspicion of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and homicide by negligent use of a vehicle. Local residents held a candlelight vigil for the victims Sunday night at Halmstad Elementary School in Chippewa Falls, where the three girls were all fourth-grade students.