Hundreds gather for vigil at elementary school to remember Girl Scouts

Hundreds of people gathered together in the rain Sunday night at Halmsted Elementary School to remember the three little Girl Scouts and a woman killed Saturday along County Road P and Hwy. 29.

Nearly 15 girls, along with adults, were picking up trash when a 21-year-old man went off the road and hit them with his pickup truck. He took off from the scene and eventually turned himself in.

Sunday, the sound of childrens' innocent voices softened the pain in people's hearts at a vigil outside Chippewa Falls.

“As Girl Scouts, we know that we take care of each other and around us is our community so with us tonight are Girl Scouts from around western region of Wisconsin,” said an event organizer. 

Rachel Ozowski, who lives near the crash site, said she was dreading the details of the horrific incident.

"We hold our breath and we wait to see what’s going on and when you find out that it’s that tragic you know that it’s going to hit everyone,” Ozowski said.

Classmates and fellow Girl Scouts from around the area lit candles in memory of the young lives lost.

Neighboring troop leaders who also have fourth grade girls in their organizations say this tragedy has shaken them to the core.

“It could have been us,” said Sara Walker, a Girl Scout Troop Leader. These girls were out there trying to do some good and this is what happened.”

Grief counselors have been on hand Sunday afternoon and will continue to be available to local students.