WAUKESHA, Wis. — Authorities were determining Monday whether the driver of an SUV that hurtled through a barricade and slammed into a Christmas parade in suburban Waukesha on Sunday, killing at least five people and injuring more than 40, may have been fleeing another crime.
At least six children remain in critical condition after the car rammed through the parade, striking a high school band, children’s dance group and the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies. The city’s livestream captured the stunning video of the crash, and Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said the number of dead and injured could change because many people took themselves to hospitals in the chaotic minutes after the tragedy.
Children’s Wisconsin Hospital received 18 patients from the ages of 3 to 16, including three sets of siblings, doctors say.
“Today we experienced a horrible, senseless tragedy. I walked in the parade at the beginning,” Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly said at a news conference. “I saw the happy children sitting on the curb. I saw happy parents behind their children. I can still see the smiling faces.”
Gov. Tony Evers ordered that flags be flown at half staff Monday and on the days when funerals for the victims take place. Evers said he and wife, Kathy, were “praying for Waukesha tonight and all the kids, families, and community members affected by this senseless act.” The city of Waukesha said it would hold an interfaith prayer vigil Monday.