CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WCCO) — Robin Kelley lost her 9-year-old daughter, Jayna, on Saturday when a pickup truck came barreling toward a Girl Scout troop picking up trash on the side of a Wisconsin road.
Ten-year-old Autumn Helgeson was also killed, along with 10-year-old Haylee Hickle and her 32-year-old mother, Sara Jo Schneider.
It was supposed to be a fun morning – another chance for Girl Scout troop 3055 to give back to their community.
“We were happy it was a nice day,” said Robin, the troop’s leader.
Kelley led the pack with her daughter, Jayna, and more scouts and volunteers.
Brian Kelley was the ever-protective father.
“We talked here in the yard about being safe and staying away from the traffic and not even going near the road at any time,” Brian said.
Rules meant to keep them safe, even though a driver’s actions intervened.
“There was no warning. It was fast. It was from behind. No one could turn around,” Robin said.
The driver left the road, hitting several of them as they picked up trash.
“It’s just such a tragedy. You can’t let the anger take over, though. You want to get mad about it, then you feel guilty about it — I can’t,” Brian said. “Something that was out of our control.”
Their focus now is remembering how they’re daughter lived — a young girl who loved being a kid and loved being with her friends.
“She was so fun and always entertaining, singing, showing off and being social,” Robin said. “All the girls, they’re family. They were Jayna’s closest friends and we have so many good memories.”
Despite the pain they’re feeling, the family is thankful for everyone’s support. In these dark times, they say it reminded them how thankful they are to live in this community.
The man accused of hitting and killing the girls appeared before a judge this morning.
Prosecutors say 21-year-old Colten Treu and his passenger huffed a can of air duster before the deadly crash. Treu remains in jail on $250,000 bond.