Multiple killed, 23 injured after SUV rams into Wisconsin Christmas Parade

This photo of the Waukesha Holiday Parade was posted on the city's Facebook page before the crash. Photo courtesy City of Waukesha

Nov. 21 (UPI) — A car plowed into dozens of people at the 58th annual Waukesha Christmas Parade in southern Wisconsin on Sunday night, resulting in “some fatalities” and at least 23 people injured, police said.

Authorities said during an evening press conference that 11 adults and 12 minors were transferred by police, family and the fire department to six area hospitals, while information about the deceased was being withheld until next of kin is notified.

“A parade is a celebration for our community,” Mayor Shawn Reilly told reporters. “Today, our community faced horror and tragedy in what should have been a community celebration.”

A red SUV drove through the parade route at around 4:40 p.m., authorities said.

Waukesha is 19 miles west of Milwaukee and has a population of 72.000.

Police Chief Dan Thompson said at the media briefing that a person of interest was in custody and that the vehicle had been recovered.

“It is unknown at this time whether the incident has any nexus with terrorism,” he said.

Thompson said the scene is safe and secure while the investigation remains “very fluid.”

A police officer also discharged his weapon at the fleeing vehicle in an effort to bring it to a halt, he said, adding that no bystanders were injured as a result.

The parade began at 4 p.m. and was scheduled to end at 5 p.m.

Angelito Tenorio, a West Allis alderman who is running for Wisconsin state treasurer, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, that he saw the speeding vehicle along the parade route.

“Then we heard a loud bang, and just deafening cries and screams from people who are struck by the vehicle. 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.”

He added, “It just all happened so fast.”

A live feed of the parade operated by the City of Waukesha shows a red SUV breaking through barriers and speeding into the roadway of the parade.

A witness told WISN-TV a driver in an SUV was “barreling down the street” into people who were marching in the parade.

The parade area was evacuated and a shelter-in-place order, which has since been rescinded, was issued.

Waukesha is celebrating its 125th year with events throughout the 2021 calendar.

The Waukesha Police Department posted on its Facebook page: “Please avoid the downtown area for the time being.”

A family reunification location was at the Waukesha Command Post.

Rep. Scott Fitzgerald, who represents the community, tweeted that he is monitoring the situation and that those searching for family should go to the Waukesha Metro Center.

“I’m praying for the safety of all those impacted by the senseless tragedy in Waukesha this evening,” he said.

Wisconsin Tony Evers posted on Twitter: “Kathy and I are praying for Waukesha tonight and all the kids, families, and community members affected by this senseless act. 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.”


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