UPDATE: Criminal complaint released in fatal Lake Hallie hit-and-run crash

By  | 

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- Colten Treu, 21, was formally charged in Chippewa County with multiple counts. He could face more than 281 years in prison after investigators said he hit and killed 4 people who were part of a Girl Scout troop picking up trash along the road.

Treu faces eleven charges, including homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and hit and run resulting in death.

On Monday the victims were identified as Jayna Kelley, 9, Autumn Helgeson, 10, and Haylee Hickle, 10, and her mother Sara Jo Schneider. Madalyn Zwiefelhofer, 10, is still in the hospital.

According to the criminal complaint, Treu bought a can of air duster the morning of the crash.

It goes on to say he and a passenger were huffing the chemicals just prior to the crash. Treu's passenger noticed he was "out of it" and tried to grab the wheel. It said after the two fought over the wheel, the truck went over the crossing lanes, going into the ditch and hitting the girls.

The complaint said Treu went to his home right after the crash and parked his truck in the driveway. It said he had another person put the truck in the garage.

The complaint said a deputy was able to follow a fluid trail that led police to Treu's garage, where the vehicle, a black Ford F-150 was located.

Treu does have previous criminal charges. According to Rusk County court records, Treu was placed on bond on a previous felony charge for possession of meth. According to the terms of the bond, Treu was not to commit any crime and that was still in place at the time of the hit-and-run on Saturday.

Treu is scheduled to appear back in court on December 11th.



CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- The following is the criminal complaint for Colten Treu.

Complainant is a Legal Secretary for the Chippewa County District Attorney’s Office and bases this complaint upon the draft reports and investigation of ADAM MEYERS and TIMOTHY BOWMAN of the Lake Hallie Police Department, MARK HOLLlSTER of the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department, and TODD JOHNSON of the Eau Claire Police Department. Complainant ADAM MEYERS and TIMOTHY BOWMAN of the Lake Hallie Police Department, MARK HOLLlSTER of the Chippewa County Sheriff's Department, and TODD JOHNSON and are presumed reliable because of the positions of trust they hold as Legal Secretary for the District Attorney and Law Enforcement Officer, respectively.

On Saturday, November 3, 2018, at about 11:41 am, Detective Adam Meyers responded to County Highway P south of the State Highway 29 overpass in the Village of Lake Hallie, Chippewa County, Wisconsin, to investigate a Hit and Run Motor Vehicle Crash involving multiple pedestrians.

Detective Meyers noted that the following pedestrians, at the scene, had received life ending injuries as a result of being struck by the vehicle: S.J.S ; H.J.H., DOB 10/21/2008; and A.A.H., DOB 09/08/2008. Detective Meyers noted that J.S.K., DOB 06/10/2009, had received significant injuries and transported to Gillett’s Hospital where she was later pronounced dead due to heavy blunt head trauma.

Officer Bowman was also at the scene, and noted that there were several witnesses and injured persons. One of the injured persons was identified as M.C.Z, DOB 06/10/2008. Officer Bowman noted that M.C.Z. received injuries as a result of the crash, and was flown to Mayo Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. Records from Mayo indicate that M.C.Z. received treatment for injuries including a traumatic aortic rupture, splenic laceration, pulmonary laceration, hematoma of left anterior frontal lobe, acute kidney injury, and acute hypoxic and hypercarbic respiratory failure.

Officer Bowman was notified by the witnesses that a Girl Scout Troop was picking up trash as part of the Adopt—a—Highway program, when a black Ford pickup truck traveling northbound on CTH P approached the troop. Witnesses noted that the Ford pickup truck crossed the centerline, and went into southbound lane, before entering the ditch striking members of the troop. Officer Bowman noted that the Ford pickup truck appeared to have sustained heavy damage and left the scene of the crash traveling northbound, without rendering aid or assistance to the injured pedestrians.

Deputy Hollister noted that he was responsible for attempting to locate the Ford pickup truck involved in the crash. Deputy Hollister noted that he was able to locate what appeared to be a fresh fluid trail moving away from the scene of the crash. Deputy Hollister noted that the fluid trail led him to a garage located at _______ in the City of Chippewa Falls. Deputy Hollister noted that he was informed that the residence belonged to Colten Treu and ____. Deputy Hollister noted that a search warrant was executed at that residence, where a black Ford F-150 was located. Deputy Hollister noted that the vehicle had significant front end damage, with weeds observed stuck in the front bumper.
Officer Johnson noted that ___ was interviewed on November 3, 2018, and that ____ provided a written statement. In his statement, ___ wrote that he and Colten True were huffing a can of air duster. ____ stated they were coming down P when Mr. Treu “looked out of it" and the vehicle started crossing the center line. _____ stated he grabbed the steering wheel to avoid going into the ditch, and brought them back to their side of the road. ____ stated Mr. Treu yelled and him for touching the steering wheel, and again crossed the center line, going into the ditch. _____stated the next thing he recalled is waking up down the road.

Detective Meyers noted that Colten Treu was interviewed about the crash on November 3, 2018. Mr.
Treu admitted to operating his black in color Ford pickup truck on County Highway P and striking people in the west ditch just south of State Highway 29. Mr. Treu stated he observed the people in the ditch and described them as wearing highly visible reflective vests. Mr. Treu stated that ___ was a front seat passenger in his truck and that his passenger and him were huffing Dustofi (a computer keyboard cleaner). Mr. Treu stated he purchased the Dustoff at Walmart on Saturday, November 3, 2018, prior to striking the people in the ditch. Mr. Treu stated he only took two short “huffs”, and that _____ was huffing a lot more than him. Mr. Treu stated he did not pass out, and that he lost control of the vehicle and fishtailed, after ____ grabbed the steering wheel from him.

Mr. Treu stated that he immediately travelled to his residence at ____and parked his truck in the driveway, and that he had another person put the truck in the garage.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation Records indicate that Colten Treu was found guilty of Operating with a Prohibited Blood Alcohol Concentration on January 7, 2015, for an offense that occurred on November 27, 2014, in Chippewa County.

Rusk County Circuit Court records indicate that on October 2, 2018, Colten Treu was released from custody and placed on bond on a felony charge of Possession of Methamphetamine. According to the terms of the bond, Mr. Treu was not to commit any crime. The records indicate that this bond was still in full force and effect on November 3, 2018.



The man accused of causing a fatal hit-and-run crash in Lake Hallie on Saturday has been charged.

Colten Treu, 21, was charged in Chippewa County Court on Tuesday.

Online court records show Treu, was charged with four counts of Homicide by Intox Use of Vehicle, four counts of Hit and Run-Involve Death, one count of Hit and Run-Involve Great Bodily Harm, one count of Bail Jumping-Felony and one count of Intentionally Abuse Hazardous Substance.

Monday morning, a cash bond was set at $250,000 for Treu.

Treu is accused of huffing before a crash that happened Saturday.

The Lake Hallie Police Department says the four people killed are 9-year-old Jayna Kelley of Lake Hallie, 10-year-old Autum Helgeson, also of Lake Hallie, and 10-year-old Halee Hickle and her mother Sara Jo Schneider of Lafayette. One additional 10-year-old is still in the hospital, but they say she is reported to be in stable condition.

Stay with WEAU 13 News for this developing story.