‘Those who died were extremely passionate Grannies. They were the glue….held us together’
Members of a “dancing grannies” group are among the dead and injured after a car plowed into a Christmas parade in Waukesha on Sunday.
Five people were confirmed to have died and more than 40 were injured after a suspect in a red Ford Escape sped into marchers taking part in the Wisconsin city’s annual Christmas parade.
More than a dozen children were injured, including students at the Waukesha West High School and members of the Waukesha Xtreme Dance Team.
The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, a troupe of women aged 50 to 70-plus, confirmed several “grannies” had died in a Facebook post on Monday.
“Those who died were extremely passionate Grannies. Their eyes gleamed…..joy of being a Grannie. They were the glue….held us together.”
The post said performing in front of parades filled the grannies with “joy and happiness”.
According to its website, the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies is a “choreographed dance/pompom group” that were formed in 1984 and perform at about 25 parades every year.
A GoFundme page was set up by Kali Granzow, the band director of the Waukesha West High School, to help injured members of the group.
“This traumatic event has brought our community together with heavy hearts,” Granzow wrote.
“We are looking to help the South band with medical costs, new instruments, and uniforms, as well as any additional expenses that they may encounter due to this horrific event.”
Also among the injured are members of a youth dancing troupe, The Waukesha Xtreme Dance Team.
No details of their injuries have been released yet, but the team thanked people who had checked in with them.
“Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers,” they said in a Facebook post.
Children’s Wisconsin reported 15 patients had been transported to the hospital by 8pm on Sunday.
The Catholic Community of Waukesha confirmed on Facebook that “several parishioners” had been injured.
In a statement, Archdiocese of Milwaukee spokesperson Sandra Peterson said a Catholic priest, and Waukesha Catholic schoolchildren were among those injured.
“Please join us in prayer for all those involved, their families, and those who are traumatised from witnessing the horrible scene.”