The Waukesha Parade Tragedy



Chairs are left abandoned on Main Street after a car plowed through a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wis., on Nov. 21.

Cassidy McCabe, Contributing Writer

On November 21, the people of Waukesha, Wisconsin, gathered together in the streets to celebrate the holidays. Adults, children, and the elderly all alike came together to enjoy this time of year. However, as the festivities began, things took a turn for the worst. 

Downtown Waukesha was buzzing with excitement at the procession coming their way. This would be their 58th annual Christmas parade, and since their last one was canceled last year due to the Pandemic, the anticipation for it was even higher. The theme was “Comfort and Joy,” the participants in it included high school marching bands, dancers, law enforcement, and local political parties. 

Reportedly less than an hour after the parade had begun, an SUV was seen speeding wildly through the crowds of people. Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson spoke at a conference on the incident, saying, intentionally drove his maroon SUV through barricades into a crowd of people.”

Videos were captured of the car as it plowed through the path of people, running over and bumping into many as it continued. Screams filled the air as people realized what was going on, and dancers stopped their routines as they heard the frenzy. Police officers began trying to stop the car, some chasing it on foot, and one even firing with a gun at it. No one was hit by the bullets, and Thompson also reported, “We do not believe there were any shots fired from the vehicle.”

The result of the car’s destructive path resulted in dozens of people, including 16 children, becoming injured, and more than a dozen still remaining hospitalized. 6 surgeries were conducted on Sunday, along with 2 more on early Monday. 

Unfortunately, deaths were a part of the outcome of this awful event as well. 6 people were identified among them, Virginia Sorenson, 79; Leanna Owen, 71; Tamara Durand, 52; Jane Kulich, 52, and Wilhelm Hospel, 81. Jackson Sparks, 8, was just identified as the sixth victim by his family. 

A little way after everything went down, a man was taken into custody for being the one driving the Maroon SUV. Darrel E. Brooks, 39, was charged with 5 counts of intentional homicide. A 6th has arisen due to Jackson Sparks’s death on Tuesday. 

Waukesha Residents are devastated by the outcomes their parade has caused to families and the community. They continue to support those who were deeply affected and keep those who lost their lives in their hearts. 

If you wish to support those hurt or killed by this, please donate to these links:

Kohnke Family Donations 

Sparks Family Donations 

Perales Family Donations 

Hollingsworth Family Donations 

Sorenson Family Donations 

Kulich Family Donations 

Dancing Grannies Donation Group