Home National Multiple Dead After Driver Plows S.U.V. Into Holiday Parade in Wisconsin

Multiple Dead After Driver Plows S.U.V. Into Holiday Parade in Wisconsin

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Multiple Dead After Driver Plows S.U.V. Into Holiday Parade in Wisconsin

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WAUKESHA, Wis. — It was presupposed to be a celebratory night time in Waukesha, Wis. Dance teams and highschool bands and politicians have been marching alongside Main Street in the Milwaukee suburb’s Christmas parade, which was coming back from a pandemic hiatus.

Then, simply earlier than 4:40 p.m., the motive force of a pink S.U.V. stormed previous barricades and barreled by way of the gang, killing a number of individuals and putting dozens. Area hospitals reported treating at the least 30 sufferers, together with many youngsters. It was unclear how many individuals died or what may need motivated the episode.

“Today our community faced horror and tragedy in what should have been a community celebration,” mentioned Mayor Shawn Reilly, who described seeing smiling youngsters and blissful mother and father when he marched alongside the parade route earlier than the incident. “I’m deeply saddened to know that so many in our community went to a parade but ended up dealing with injury and heartache.”

Chief Daniel Thompson of the Waukesha Police Department mentioned on Sunday night time that an individual of curiosity was in custody and that there was no additional risk. Eyewitnesses described the motive force as male, however that was not confirmed by the police. Chief Thompson mentioned photographs have been fired by the police on the driver.

A spokesman for Children’s Wisconsin mentioned that hospital, which treats solely pediatric sufferers, had admitted 15 individuals on Sunday. Details about their situations weren’t instantly out there. Another hospital, Aurora Medical Center–Summit, mentioned in an announcement that it was treating 13 sufferers, together with three in essential situation. Officials at Froedtert Hospital mentioned additionally they had acquired sufferers however didn’t specify what number of.

The tragedy spoiled what individuals and onlookers described as a joyous night time in Waukesha, a bed room neighborhood about 20 miles west of Milwaukee. More than 60 entries, from the Waukesha Fire Department to the Old Car Club to Santa, have been scheduled to march by way of downtown.

This was the 58th Christmas parade for Waukesha, an annual occasion that was canceled final 12 months due to the pandemic. The theme of this 12 months’s occasion was merely “Comfort and Joy.”

Jason Kellner, 49, mentioned that he had simply watched his son, a drum participant in the Waukesha South High School marching band, move by, when he first noticed a pink Ford Escape heading towards the gang. After passing by way of an intersection, Mr. Kellner mentioned, the automobile “started mowing people down.”

“I’ve never felt a worse feeling; wondering what I’m going to find when I get to my kid,” Mr. Kellner mentioned of the second he ran towards his son, whom he discovered standing unhurt by the aspect of the highway.

Mr. Kellner mentioned he pulled a bloody saxophone off the road and noticed a number of individuals, apparently injured, on the bottom.

“Right now, I’m just angry,” Mr. Kellner mentioned. “It seems everywhere we turn, it’s just another violent day in the U.S.”

Tyler Kotlarek, 28, was watching the parade with relations once they heard what at first gave the impression of cheering, however then they realized “it was screams,” he mentioned. “It was the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Mr. Kotlarek mentioned the motive force appeared to deliberately steer towards individuals. That account had not been confirmed by the police.

“He was going from side to side, targeting people,” Mr. Kotlarek mentioned. “The car bombed through. He was flying through there going intentionally from left to right.”

The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, which have been among the many parade entrants, mentioned on Facebook that members and volunteers had been impacted “and we are waiting for word on their conditions.” Officials with the Xtreme Dance crew, one other group that marched, requested for ideas, prayers and “privacy to process the tragic events.” The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee mentioned a priest, in addition to parishioners and college students at a neighborhood Catholic college, have been among the many injured.

Tom Hickey, 25, was strolling close to a buddy’s float behind the parade when he heard honking behind him. A person carrying a sweatshirt and grey hat who was driving the pink Ford Escape was making an attempt to make his method by way of the gang, he mentioned. Mr. Hickey mentioned he thought the motive force was misplaced.

Then, the motive force took a proper flip onto the principle parade route, gunned the engine and moved by way of the parade route at what gave the impression to be prime pace, he mentioned.

“When he made that right turn, that’s when he turned really dangerous,” Mr. Hickey mentioned.

Angelito Tenorio, a candidate for state treasurer, had simply completed marching in the parade and was circling again to Main Street when he noticed the S.U.V. rushing alongside the route.

“All of a sudden I heard a loud bang,” mentioned Mr. Tenorio, an alderman for close by West Allis. “Then I heard deafening cries and screams. It was very gut-wrenching.”

He described a chaotic scene that left him surprised and shaking.

“People were running away, leaving their belongings behind, sobbing,” he mentioned. “When the crowd cleared out, it looked like there were people on the ground who might have been struck by the vehicle.”

In a video posted on the town’s Facebook web page, the S.U.V. may be seen rushing down the parade route and screams may be heard from these in the gang. Then, seconds later, a police officer runs by, adopted by numerous police autos as a bunch of youngsters stops performing.

Don Paul Browne, a metropolis alderman, was marching in the parade with the mayor however had already left and didn’t witness what occurred. He mentioned the town was celebrating its 125th anniversary.

He described the parade as a family-friendly occasion that attracts spectators from different counties. He struggled to grasp what occurred, he mentioned, as a result of there have been no political undertones or controversy linked with the parade.

Hours later, the households and band members have been gone and residents have been being requested to keep away from downtown. But alongside the parade route, resting towards the doorway to The Steaming Cup coffeehouse, three garden chairs have been illuminated by flashing pink and blue police lights.

Two of the chairs — one pink, the opposite blue — have been little one sized.

Andrés Martínez, Livia Albeck-Ripka, Vimal Patel, Juston Jones and Elizabeth Dias contributed reporting.

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