Girl Scouts killed in 'horrific' hit-and-run, local authorities reflect on what you can do to stay safe

BARNESVILLE, Minn. (Valley News Live)- Bail is set at a quarter of a million dollars for a man accused of running down three girl scouts near Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. That’s just east of the Twin Cities. They were picking up trash from the side of the road when it happened. It's a story that's grabbed the attention of the nation. And many of you may have volunteered for clean-up efforts around here.

It happened on a road in Wisconsin. Three young girls and an adult were picking up trash from the side of the road when tragedy struck.

"Make sure you're visible, obviously wearing bright colored traffic safety vests," says Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow.

This hit particularly close to home for Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow. In addition to being in law enforcement, he's a Cub Scout leader.

Valley News Live: “Have you guys done a lot of clean-up on the side of the road then?”

"I've been a part of it for 5 years now so yeah," says Grabow.

And he says whenever he's been on the side of the road cleaning up, he has to be extra careful.

Especially when there's kids around. And he tells us one way of doing that is wearing a bright colored traffic vest.

So we went to our local Girl Scouts chapter to see what they do here in the valley. They tell us, it's a difficult time for them as an organization but they say there's nothing they take more seriously than the safety of their members. And crash investigators say the girls were following all safety protocols including wearing a bright vest.

And as for the man accused of this horrible crime, he admits to huffing chemicals before driving and is due in court again tomorrow.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation tells us they do provide safety vests to anyone participating in their Adopt-a-Highway program. And they also say it's important for drivers to stay alert and be aware of their surroundings.