Six people have died after a vehicle plowed through a crowd at a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, over the weekend, turning an afternoon filled with holiday cheer into instant tragedy.
The victims, who range in age from 8 to 81 years old, include one child, one man and four women, according to Waukesha officials.
More than 40 others were injured when a driver, identified as Darrell Brooks, 39, broke through a barricade and crashed into parade-goers, including members of a high school band and local dance groups, Waukesha police said.
The victims who died were initially identified as Tamara Durand, 52, Jane Kulich, 52, LeAnna Owen, 71, Virginia Sorenson, 79 and Wilhelm Hospel, 81.
Eight-year-old Jackson Sparks passed away Monday after being in the ICU for several hours, according to an update from his family on their GoFundMe page. Jackson was the sixth person who died following the tragedy. HIs 12-year-old Tucker was also seriously injured and is recovering, the family said.
Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, a local group known for participating in area parades, confirmed its members were among those killed.
Sorenson, Owen and Durand were members of the Grannies, and Hospel reportedly helped the troupe with their shows.
"Those who died were extremely passionate Grannies. Their eyes gleamed.....joy of being a Grannie. They were the glue....held us together," the group said in a statement posted to Facebook, in part. "...Our group was doing what they loved, performing in front of crowds in a parade putting smiles on faces of all ages, filling them with joy and happiness."
Kulich was a mother and grandmother of three, who most recently worked as a bank teller in town. The bank said in a statement that an employee — one it didn't name — was “walking with our parade float” when she was struck and died.
Previously, Kulich had worked for Dave's Restaurant for several years.
“I know Jane is in a good place now," said restaurant owner Jose Suarez.
Police had originally announced that 48 individuals had been injured, but a criminal complaint Tuesday bumped that number up to 62.
At least nine patients — most of them children — were listed in critical condition Monday at two hospitals, and seven others were reported in serious condition.
Children's Wisconsin Hospital in Milwaukee said early Monday 18 children were brought to its emergency department following the incident. Their ages range from 3 years old to 16, and the victims include three sets of siblings.
As of Tuesday at around 6 p.m., six children remained in critical condition, three in fair condition and four in good condition.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee said one of its priests, as well as multiple parishioners and Waukesha Catholic school children, were injured.
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