Five dead and more than 40 injured after vehicle drives through holiday parade in Wisconsin

Five people have died and more than 40 are injured after a vehicle drove through a holiday parade in the US state of Wisconsin. The red SUV hit more than 20 people in the city of Waukesha, which is ab

Five dead and more than 40 injured after vehicle drives through holiday parade in Wisconsin

Five people have died and more than 40 are injured after a vehicle drove through a holiday parade in the US state of Wisconsin.

The red SUV hit more than 20 people in the city of Waukesha, which is about 20 miles west of central Milwaukee, just before 5pm on Sunday.

Police investigate after a vehicle drove through the Christmas Parade, leaving multiple people injured in Waukesha, Wisconsin, U.S. November 21, 2021. Mike De Sisti-USA TODAY NETWORK via REUTERS NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. MANDATORY CREDIT
Image: The vehicle appeared to speed towards the parade from behind. Pic: Mike De Sisti-USA Today Network

It appeared to approach the parade's marchers from behind, and police chief Dan Thompson said that an officer had shot at it in an effort to stop it as it crashed through street barriers.

Eleven adults and 12 children were taken to hospital after being hit by the vehicle and Mr Thompson confirmed there were "some fatalities".

Nobody was injured by the police gunshots.

A red SUV speeds past attendees moments before plowing into a crowd at a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, U.S., in this still image taken from a November 21, 2021 social media video. Pic: CITY OF WAUKESHA/Facebook
Image: A red SUV sped past bystanders moments before hitting people at the Christmas parade. Pic: City of Waukesha

Mr Thompson said a "suspect vehicle" had been found and that a "person of interest" is in police custody.

He said that, despite claims on social media, it did not appear that any shots were fired from inside the vehicle.

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Corey Montiho, a Waukesha school district board member, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that his daughter's dance team was hit by the vehicle.

The scene after a vehicle ploughs through a Christmas parade in in Waukesha, Wisconsin
Image: The parade involved a number of groups, including a children's dancing team and a marching band

"There were pompoms and shoes and spilled hot chocolate everywhere.

"I had to go from one crumpled body to the other to find my daughter," he said.

"My wife and two daughters were almost hit. Please pray for everybody. Please pray."

Angelito Tenorio, who was at the parade, told the newspaper: "As we were walking back in between the buildings... we saw an SUV cross over, just put the pedal to the metal and just zooming full speed along the parade route.

"And then we heard a loud bang, and just deafening cries and screams from people who are struck by the vehicle."

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Police at the scene of 'horror and tragedy'

A woman told Milwaukee's Fox6 TV station that the SUV hit a dance team of girls aged between nine and 15.

She said there was initially silence, followed by screaming, running, and efforts to check on those injured.

Local politicians expressed horror at what had happened, with Waukesha mayor Shawn Reilly saying: "Today, our community faced horror and tragedy in what should have been a community celebration.

"I'm deeply saddened to know that so many in our community went to a parade, but ended up dealing with injuries and heartache."