At least five people were killed and more than 40 others were injured when a cherry red SUV drove into a Wisconsin Christmas parade and the surrounding spectators on Sunday afternoon in Waukesha. Waukesha is located about 20 miles west of downtown Milwaukee. After midnight on Sunday-Monday, city officials tweeted that “These numbers may change as we collect additional information. Many people have self-transported to area hospitals.”
The Wisconsin Christmas parade mass casualty event began at 4:39 p.m. local time as the annual Christmas festivities were underway. A red SUV plowed through a series of barricades directly into the crowded parade route, causing inconceivable carnage.
Local Police Chief Daniel P. Thompson advised the press and public that officers from his department together with the Waukesha County Medical Examiner’s Office are working to identify those people killed in the Wisconsin Christmas parade mass casualty event. The Chief did advise that a so-called person of interest has been taken into custody. As of 2:00 a.m. on Monday, it is not clear if the person taken into custody was the driver of the SUV or some other individual. The Chief of Police previously made it clear that “this is still a very fluid investigation.”
Thus far, officials report that more than 40 people were injured in the incident. As noted a moment ago, the prospects for this number rising are strong. Some victims of the Wisconsin Christmas parade mass casualty self-transported to area medical centers and have yet to be accounted. What has been reported about injuries by officials thus far is:
- Aurora Medical Center-Summit, a hospital in Waukesha County, is treating 13 patients. These include three people listed in critical condition, four individuals in serious condition, and six others in fair condition. This medical center released a brief statement late on Sunday night: We are deeply saddened by today's senseless tragedy and our hearts are with the Waukesha community.
- Children's Wisconsin, which is a pediatric hospital in Milwaukee, advised that it was treating 15 patients injured at the Wisconsin Christmas parade mass casualty event., with no reported fatalities as of Sunday night.
- Froedtert Hospital, also in Milwaukee, is the only Level I trauma center in southeast Wisconsin. This medical center advised that that it is treating patients from the Wisconsin Christmas parade mass casualty event. The hospital did not provide a specific number. The hospital did not provide information about the condition of patients from the mass casualty event. Generally speaking, Level I trauma centers typically care for the most critically injured patients.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers stated on Twitter:
Kathy (Wisconsin First Lady) 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.
The White House also issued a statement about the Wisconsin Christmas parade mass casualty event:
The White House is closely monitoring the situation in Waukesha and our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted by this terrible incident. We have reached out to state and local officials to offer any support and assistance as needed.
Roads in the area of the Wisconsin Christmas parade mass casualty event are expected to be closed until late Monday afternoon, early Monday evening, or perhaps even later. Schools in the community have cancelled classes on Monday. It is possible that the cancellation will carry over through Tuesday or even longer.
Sadly, mass casualty events of different types are becoming all the more commonplace across the United States. If you or a loved on are ever the victims of some type of mass casualty event, the legal team at The Doan Law Firm is available by calling (800) 349-0000. Understanding the tragic nature of these types of incidents, we keep our phone lines staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, including all major holidays. The Doan Law Firm never charges a fee for a consultation with an injury victim. Indeed, our firm never charges a fee unless we obtain a favorable settlement or judgment for a client.