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Police: Driver who killed Wisconsin Girl Scouts and mother admits to huffing chemicals before crash

The 21-year-old driver who allegedly killed three Wisconsin Girl Scouts and one of their mothers over the weekend has reportedly admitted to inhaling chemicals prior to the crash. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Police say a 21-year-old man allegedly killed three Wisconsin Girl Scouts and one of their mothers over the weekend when he ran off the road and struck the victims while they were cleaning trash along a highway.

The hit-and-run suspect later admitted to law enforcement that he had been huffing chemicals before the deadly crash.

What are the details?

In a news release Monday, the Lake Hallie Police Department said that Colten Treu of Chippewa Falls turned himself in after allegedly driving into a group of Girl Scouts who were participating in a highway cleanup on Saturday.

According to Fox News, Treu's vehicle veered into the ditch where the volunteers were picking up trash, and he drove off after hitting the victims. Police told Fox News, "The truck failed to stop and render aid, but instead left the scene of the crash."

Nine-year-old Jayna Kelley, 10-year-old Autum Helgeson, 10-year-old Haylee Hickle, and her mother, 32-year-old Sara Jo Schneider, were all killed in the tragedy. Another 10-year-old remains in the hospital in critical condition.

All of the children hit were fourth-graders at Halmstad Elementary School and Southview Elementary School in nearby Chippewa Falls.

District superintendent Heidi Eliopoulos issued a message to parents saying, "This is a difficult time for our students, families and staff. We will be providing ongoing support for both students (and) families and staff for as long as needed," the Twin Cities Pioneer Press reported.

Treu and his passenger admitted to police that they had been intentionally inhaling chemicals before the accident. The suspect is currently being held in the Chippewa County Jail on four counts of homicide while intoxicated.

Anything else?

Lake Hallie Police Department Chief Cal Smokowicz did not specify in his release what chemicals Treu admitted to inhaling before the crash.

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are more than 1,000 products that are used for huffing, including glue, paint thinner, cooking spray, and numerous other common household products.

Huffing typically causes a high that lasts roughly 15 to 45 minutes, and chronic use can lead to permanent brain damage, hearing loss, and even death.

One last thing…
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