November 08, 2018 10:06 PM
Three of the four people hit and killed by a vehicle Saturday during a Girl Scout event in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin were being laid to rest Thursday.
The group was picking up trash along a rural Wisconsin highway at the time.
The funeral for 10-year-old Autumn Helgeson was scheduled for Thursday night. It followed services Thursday afternoon for 10-year-old Haylee Hickle and Haylee's mother, 32-year-old Sarah Jo Schneider.
Those in attendance at Chippewa Valley Bible Church said Haylee's smile would light up a room.
Through tears, Haylee's third-grade teacher from last year, Emilee Thornton, said: "I had the blessing of being Haylee's third-grade teacher."
Thornton was left with lasting memories of Haylee.
"Her laugh was infectious," she said. "She was friendly. She was kind. She was positive and patient."
Haylee's principal at Southview Elementary School talked about Haylee’s legacy as a big sister, and as a positive role model, for younger sister Jasper.
"Hayley showed Jasper through her actions the importance of being yourself, and that being yourself is the best thing to be," Sara Denure said through tears.
Denure read aloud another classmate’s memory.
"Hayley was so kind and thoughtful," she read. "She helped others. She was a good drawer and colorer. She liked to play. She would make me laugh."
Loved ones also reflected on the Children's Ministry. Haylee was a part of the ministry and her mom volunteered.
"The leaders of our Children's Ministry Programs are heroes to our young boys and girls, and Sarah was one of those heroes," said Steve Hein, the Children's BLAST program director at Chippewa Valley.
"We first knew Sarah as a dedicated and loving Mom. That was evident each and every Wednesday night that we saw her here - no matter how her day was going. Sarah always had a warm smile and a cheerful and engaging personality."
Their lives ended while serving others, loved ones said. One of the speakers at the funeral service Thursday morning expressed: "We can give our best each day, living each day to the fullest, and we know that that's what Sarah and Hayley did."
The funeral for 9-year-old Jayna Kelley is Friday.
The Girl Scouts of the USA are planning a nationwide vigil to remember all four victims at 3 p.m. Saturday.
One girl survived the crash.
Madalyn Zwiefelhofer, age 10, is in critical condition at a Rochester hospital. According to her GoFundMe page, she has several surgeries and months of recovery ahead of her.
Money is being raised for the other families with a GoFundMe page too.
The driver accused of hitting them, 21-year-old Colten Treu, faces a number of charges, including vehicular homicide.
He is accused of huffing just before the crash.
Updated: November 08, 2018 10:06 PM
Created: November 08, 2018 05:00 PM
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