A deadly Wisconsin parade crash left 5 people dead and at least 40 injured on Sunday afternoon. An SUV plowed into a holiday parade crowd in Waukesha, Wisconsin, hitting bystanders, some of which were children.
Wisconsin Parade Crash Kills 5, Injures More Than 40
Area hospitals reported dozens of injured people from the Wisconsin parade crash. This included 15 people taken to the Children’s Wisconsin medical center in Milwaukee.
Another 13 people are receiving treatment at Aurora Medical Center in Summit. Aurora reported that three patients among the 13 remain in critical condition.
In addition, some students from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee who attended the holiday parade also received injuries.
Sandra Peterson, Archdiocese spokesperson said that apart from the schoolchildren, the crash also injured multiple parishioners and a Catholic priest.
SUV Drove Into Crowd
Senior police officers investigating the incident said that a person of interest was undergoing questioning. This person had a significant criminal background.
Investigators theorized that the suspect who drove the SUV may have been fleeing a knife fight when it drove into the parade barricades.
In an attempt to stop the SUV from continuing, a police officer opened fire at the vehicle. At an evening press conference, Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson said police managed to recover the vehicle. No one was shot.
The people hit by the SUV were taken to nearby hospitals by paramedics, police, family members, and concerned citizens. Waukesha authorities say that the number of casualties might go up as more people seek treatment.
Traumatic Situation for the City of Waukesha
The city also sent a shelter-in-place alert to some Waukesha residents in order to help the ongoing police investigation. The local FBI also said they are aware of the incident.
However, they maintain that local authorities will lead the investigation. Meanwhile, Mayor Shawn Reilly spoke at an earlier press conference. He said that what happened was “a traumatic situation for the city of Waukesha.”
One witness, Angelito Tenorio, a candidate for Wisconsin state treasurer, saw what happened. He just finished marching in the parade along with members of the Waukesha County Democratic Party when the vehicle barreled its way to the parade.
“People running away from the scene, leaving their belongings behind, looking for their kids, family friends,” he said. “It looked like there were folks lying on the ground who may have been struck by the vehicle,” he added.
In addition, local resident Scott Greger said he saw the SUV strike a person, continue driving, then hit a float. “The red SUV came barreling down the street — very, very high rate of speed, and hit a pedestrian,” he recounted.
Sirens Preceded The SUV Crash
Greger also said that the police sirens preceded the SUV. This led to the theory that the driver was escaping a previous crime scene leading it to cause the Wisconsin parade crash.
The Waukesha event billed as Waukesha’s 58th annual Christmas Parade, resumed this year after a no-go last year. Local authorities canceled last year’s edition due to pandemic restrictions.
Now, Thompson said that roads will remain closed. The city will also cancel Monday classes for Waukesha public schools. In addition, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers responded to the incident on Facebook.
“I’m grateful for the first responders and folks who acted quickly to help, and we are in contact with local partners as we await more information,” he posted.
Watch the FOX6 News Milwaukee video reporting that SUV plows into Waukesha Christmas parade:
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