Area scouts offer thanks to local law enforcement

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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- Royce Roberts is ready to serve at Bomb Tacos on N. Bridge St. in Chippewa Falls. For him, food is nourishment for the soul.

"It helps immensely,” he said to WEAU 13 News on Thursday. “Coming from a small business owner who doesn't regularly eat, it helps a lot."

The owner of Bomb Tacos makes his home in Chippewa Falls – a city, still shocked by Saturday’s hit-and-run along County Road P which killed four people.

"When something … just, anything out of the ordinary actually happens, it doesn't really matter what it is, whose fault it is, everybody just comes around and comes together,” he said. “That's what I love about it. You don't really find this is most communities."

The pain of this past Saturday’s tragedy has been felt by many in the Chippewa Falls area. For Roberts, that pain runs deep even deeper.

“I didn't even know who was even in the accident until their pictures were put up,” he said.

It was then he recognized 32-year-old Sara Jo Schneider. She was killed along with her daughter – 10-year-old Haylee Hickle.

“It turns out that Sara was my next door neighbor for about three years,” Roberts said. "When people talk about it, they put on a mask and they say, you know like 'Everybody's hurting right now.' but inside, you can tell that they're just on the brink."

Also killed in the hit-and-run crash were 9-year-old Jayna Kelley and 10-year-old Autum Helgeson.

Colten Treu, 21, of Chippewa Falls faces 11 counts, including homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle in connection to the incident.

With the community still reeling from the crash, Roberts wanted to help. So, he prepared 3-1/2 gallons of cheesy broccoli soup for members of another troop for Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes. The scouts then took the soup to members of local law enforcement for them to enjoy.

"It did brings tears to my eyes that these girls – the Girl Scouts of the Chippewa area – came in on their time and brought us something in the form of appreciation," Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk said to WEAU 13 News on Thursday.

The stop at the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department was just the first of several stops scout members made Thursday. They also scheduled drop-offs of soup and other goodies to the Lake Hallie Police and Fire Department and Chippewa Falls Police Department.

"Anytime we make contact with the public, especially in bad times – and this time is bad – a lot of people that were hurt, a lot of people whose family have been lost ... For the public to come in and thank us personally, it goes above and beyond," Kowalczyk said.

For Roberts, he was glad to lend a hand for this show of thanks.

"I was just doing it out of the nicest on my heart, like they're hurting. I should do something to help them,” he said.