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Watch | Wisconsin Christmas Parade Vehicle Wrecked 5 People Dead and More Than 40 People Injured

  • In Wisconsin, a speeding SUV drove into a crowded Christmas parade, killing 5 people and injuring more than 40 others.
  • It is not clear whether this incident is related to terrorism, but there is no further danger, and the earlier asylum-in-place order has been cancelled.
  • The White House said in a statement that it is “watching the situation closely” and providing support to state and local officials.

Waukesha-On Sunday, a speeding SUV dashed through the Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing 5 people and injuring more than 40 people, including a group of young dancers brandishing pompoms.

Waukesha police chief Dan Thompson said that a related person was detained and a car was found in a small town about 32 kilometers west of Milwaukee after the incident.

A screenshot of the live Facebook live video of Waukesha shows that on November 21, 2021, a red SUV was speeding amidst the crowd of festival parades in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

AFP Photo: Waukesha/AFP

“Currently, we can confirm that 5 people were killed and more than 40 were injured,” the Waukesha Police Department said on its Facebook page. “However, as we gather more information, these numbers may change. Many people have already transferred to regional hospitals on their own.”

Thompson earlier told reporters that it is not clear whether the incident is related to terrorism, but there is no further danger. The earlier asylum-in-place order for approximately 72,000 people in the town has been cancelled.

A video posted online showed that a red sport utility vehicle was driving at high speed in the parade and seemed to have run over more than a dozen people before the crowd came to help from the sidewalk.

‘Come here at full speed’

Thompson said a police officer fired at the vehicle and no bystanders were injured. He added that, contrary to previous reports, the police did not believe that the car was shot. Videos on social media appear to show that when the vehicle broke through an obstacle in the street, the police opened fire on it.

Belen Santamaria, her husband and their three-year-old daughter are planning to participate in a parade with their Catholic church. But Santamaria, a 39-year-old Mexican factory worker, woke up with a sore back on Sunday, so the whole family watched the parade on the sidewalk instead.

“The SUV is coming at full speed,” Santa Maria said.

Santa Maria says:

Then I started to hear people screaming.

She and their daughter hid in a restaurant, while her husband, 39-year-old delivery worker Jesus Ochoa, ran ahead trying to help the injured. He said he heard from other members of the church that about 10 congregations were injured, most of them Latino, including adults and children.

“I’m going there, walking,” Santa Maria said. “The SUV will also hit us.”

The dance troupe is coming

A woman told the Fox6 TV station in Milwaukee that the SUV had hit a group of 9 to 15-year-old girls. According to Fox6, she said the immediate response was silence, followed by screaming, running, and checking the injured person. Videos on social media showed a small group of people surrounding the injured girl, with white pompoms scattered around.

According to a report by WISN-TV in Milwaukee, affiliated to the American Broadcasting Corporation, an eyewitness said that the driver also ran into a group of “dancing grandma,” and at least one person flipped the hood of the SUV.

Police and emergency responders working at the crime scene

On November 21, 2021, police and emergency responders work at the crime scene as a speeding SUV drives past a crowded parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

AFP Photo: Jim Vondruska/Getty Images/AFP

“The members and volunteers of the group are affected, and we are waiting for news about their condition,” Milwaukee Dancing Granny said on their Facebook page. “Please let grandma, all the injured, and all those who witnessed this terrible incident be in your thoughts and prayers.”

The TV station said that another eyewitness estimated that the speed of the SUV was about 64 km/h when it crashed into the crowd on the street.

“When we walked back between the buildings…we saw an SUV passing by, just stepped on the metal and zoomed in at full speed along the parade route. Then we heard a loud noise, only deafening crying Screaming with people hit by the vehicle,” City Councilman Angelito Tenorio near West Allis told the Milwaukee Sentinel.

The local CBS affiliate later showed a photo on Twitter. The photo appeared to be a red SUV with a crumpled hood and a front fender hung in the driveway and parked in the driveway.

‘Monitor the situation closely’

A White House official said that President Joe Biden listened to briefings from aides about these events.

“The White House is closely monitoring the situation in Wakosha, and we express our sympathy to all those affected by this terrible incident. We have contacted state and local officials to provide any support and assistance when needed.”

Photos and videos circulated by Waukesha on Twitter show that after 16:39 (22:39 GMT), police cars and ambulances crowded the streets decorated with Christmas lights. At dusk, people huddled up on the sidewalk to resist the cold.

The Wisconsin Children’s Hospital stated on Twitter that it had received 15 patients as of 20:00 and no deaths were reported at that time.

The head of the school district stated that schools in grades 4K-12 will continue to be closed on Monday and will provide additional counselors for students who may need support services.

In 2015, a woman in Stillwater, Oklahoma drove into the crowd watching the football team return to school, causing 4 deaths and 46 injuries.

In 2016, a truck was deliberately driven into a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany, killing 12 people in an attack linked to the Islamic State (ISIS).

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