The authorities of Wisconsin in the north of USA They were investigating on Monday the circumstances in which an off-road vehicle rammed into a crowd gathered for a Christmas parade in Waukesha the day before, leaving at least five dead and 40 injured.
“We confirmed that five people died and 40 are injured. However, these numbers could change as we collect more information ”, Waukesha City Police said in a statement, adding that one person was detained.
The incident occurred on Sunday shortly after 4:30 p.m. (10:30 p.m. GMT), while it was unfolding the annual Waukesha Christmas Parade, a suburb of Milwaukee.
“A red van broke down the security barriers and broke into our Christmas parade that we celebrated downtown”Police Chief Dan Thompson told reporters.
The police chief indicated that a person was detained and that officials recovered the vehicle involved. There were no other threats, he noted.
An officer fired at the truck in an attempt to stop the vehicle, according to authorities.
Initially, 11 adults and 12 children were transferred to six area hospitals, Fire Chief Steven Howard reported.
Schools will not open this Monday and some roads will remain closedThompson said, while the investigation is ongoing.
The FBI reported that it is helping local authorities.
President Joe Biden was informed and the White House “Closely monitor the situation in Waukesha and our hearts go out to all who have been affected by this terrible incident ”, said a presidential official.
“We have contacted state and local authorities to offer the necessary support and assistance.”added.
Angelito Tenorio, who is running for the position of treasurer of the state of Wisconsin, was at the parade and said, in statements to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, that “He saw a van arrive, he just sped up and sped along the parade route”.
“And then we heard a loud roar, and only deafening cries and screams from the people who were run over by the vehicle”added.
“One of our priests is among the wounded, as are numerous parishioners and children from the Catholic school in Waukesha” stated a spokeswoman for the Milwaukee Catholic Church, Sandra Peterson
The Journal Sentinel reported that Images showed the truck speeding into the parade behind a school marching band.
“All I heard was screaming and then people calling out the names of their children. It was all I heard “Angela O’Boyle, another witness whose apartment overlooked the site of the parade, told CNN.
The governor of WisconsinTony Evers said that he and his wife “prayed for Waukesha”And for“ all the children, families and members of the community affected by this senseless act ”.
Several MPs expressed their condolences, including the two state senators.
Democrat Tammy Baldwin called the situation “just heartbreaking,” she wrote on Twitter, while fellow Republican Ron Johnson offered his “prayers for all the injured” and “gratitude” to officials, medical personnel and citizens “who are responding.” .
The crash occurred in a busy week in the state of Wisconsin, following the acquittal of teenager Kyle Rittenhouse, who shot and killed two men during protests against police violence last year in Kenosha, located just 50 miles from Waukesha.