The Dancing Grannies were among those killed by the car that plowed into people at a Christmas parade in Wisconsin.
At least 5 people have been killed and more than forty injured after the incident yesterday.
Scroll on to find out more…
Since the news broke, tributes have been pouring in for those who lost their lives
The tragedy occurred at a Christmas parade in Waukesha at around 4.30pm on November 21, ABC News reports.
At least 5 people were killed and more than forty injured when a car, allegedly a red SUV, plowed into the parade.
Waukesha Police Chief, Dan Thompson said in a press conference that a total of eleven adults and twelve children were taken to hospital.
They were taken to 6 different hospitals with ambulances, police officers and family members helping to transport them.
The outlet reports that Aurora Medical Center in Summit, Wisconsin, said in a statement that it was currently providing treatment for thirteen patients following the incident.
Of those thirteen, the medical center said that 3 patients are in a critical condition and 4 in a serious condition.
Children’s Wisconsin hospital in Milwaukee also received several patients from the incident.
In a statement, the hospital said it had received fifteen patients so far though officials have warned that the number of fatalities and injuries could change as additional information emerges.
Thompson revealed that an officer present at the parade fired at the vehicle in an attempt to stop it.
The parade is a yearly event held on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, the BBC reports. It is said to include includes fancy dress, dancers and marching bands.
Thompson said in the conference that the red SUV allegedly involved in the incident has been recovered by officers.
A person of interest, who has since been named by NBC News as thirty-nine-year-old Darrell Brooks, was taken into custody.
The outlet was informed by 5 law enforcement officials that Brooks was detained and taken into custody on Sunday where he is now being questioned.
Brooks has not been charged nor has he been named as a suspect by police.
Public schools in Waukesha will be closed today.
Many businesses around the area will also remain closed, ABC News reports.
“When the area is open, the City is requesting that any items for a temporary memorial be placed at Veterans Park,” the city said in a statement.
Angelito Tenorio, a local resident, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper he had just finished marching in the parade when the incident took place.
“As we were walking back in between the buildings we saw an SUV cross over, just put the pedal to the metal and just zooming full speed along the parade route,” he said. “And then we heard a loud bang, and just deafening cries and screams from people who are struck by the vehicle.”
Tenorio said the incident “all happened so fast.”
“And then, and then we saw people running away or stopping crying, and there, there are people on the ground who looked like they’d been hit by the vehicle.”
Twelve-year-old Ashlee Coronado, who was at the parade with her mom, also spoke with the outlet and explained that she first thought it was “a part of the parade.”
“We were excited to see the truck with the fire and the hot air with it,” she said. “We always get excited for it because it is cold that that warms us. Then right then, a red (vehicle) drove past me and my cousins. He was going very fast and hit a gentleman. At first, I thought he was a part of the parade. And then I thought this is real. We were all screaming. We were not even two feet away.”
Also present at the parade were the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies.
But sadly, some members of the group are among those who lost their lives in the incident.
The group confirmed the tragic news in a post on Facebook as they said they are “devastated” by what happened.
“The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies are devastated by this terrible tragedy of loss of life and injuries in the Waukesha Christmas parade,” they wrote.
The statement explained that the group was “doing what they loved” when the incident happened.
“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. While performing the grannies enjoyed hearing the crowds cheers and applause which certainly brought smiles to their faces and warmed their hearts.”
“Those who died were extremely passionate Grannies. Their eyes gleamed [of] joy of being a Grannie. They were the glue [that] held us together,” they continued.
Explaining that their “hearts are heavy at this most difficult time,” the group then asked people to “keep their families, friends, the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies and everyone whose lives have forever changed in your thoughts and prayers.”
Our thoughts are with those affected by the incident.