What We Know About the Victims of the Waukesha Parade Crash
Eighteen children between the ages of 3 and 16 were among those injured, including three sets of siblings.,
Grandmother group and children are among the victims at Waukesha’s Christmas parade.
Authorities have confirmed that at least five people are dead, and another 40 are injured — among them grandmothers and children, who were out in big numbers for a parade that celebrates the beginning of the Christmas season.
Among the dead are members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, an amateur dance group for grandmothers that has been a fixture in the local parades for nearly four decades.
On Facebook on Monday, the group mourned their losses.
“Those who died were extremely passionate Grannies,” the statement said. “Their eyes gleamed …. joy of being a Grannie. They were the glue … held us together.
At a news conference on Monday, the chief medical officer of the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Dr. Michael Gutzeit, said 18 children had been brought to the hospital after the parade, all between the ages of 3 and 16 years of age. The hospital’s medical director, Dr. Michael Meyer, said 10 of them were in intensive care and six are critical.
“The injuries from Sunday night will go well beyond the physical and will take time to heal,” Dr. Gutzeit said.
The victims include three sets of siblings, said Dr. Amy Drendel, the hospital’s medical director. Their ailments range from facial abrasions to broken bones to serious head injuries.
The Waukesha School District canceled classes on Monday because of the tragedy.
Another hospital, Aurora Medical Center-Summit, said in a statement that it was treating 13 patients, including three in critical condition. Officials at Froedtert Hospital said it had received seven patients.
Officials with the Xtreme Dance team, another group that marched, asked for thoughts, prayers and “privacy to process the tragic events.”
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee said a priest was among the injured, along with parishioners and students at a local Catholic school.
A representative of Milwaukee Dancing Grannies did not immediately return phone calls seeking more information, but the statement said the group would post more details as they became available.
“The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies are devastated by this terrible tragedy,” the statement said, adding, “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.”
Founded in 1984, the group performed choreographed pompom routines and dances at summer and winter parades across southern Wisconsin. A Facebook posting said members need only be “a grandmother or grandmother figure,” available for weekly practice, healthy and “ready to have fun.”
Daniel Victor contributed reporting.