Father went 'from one body to another’ searching for daughter after US Xmas parade tragedy

22 November 2021, 08:06 | Updated: 22 November 2021, 10:27

Witnesses have told of their terror after a car ploughed into a Christmas parade
Witnesses have told of their terror after a car ploughed into a Christmas parade. Picture: Getty

By Asher McShane

Terrified witnesses have described the aftermath of the Christmas parade tragedy in Wisconsin, with one father saying he went from "one crumpled body to another" searching for his daughter.

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Five people died and at least 40 people were injured when a large red SUV ploughed into the Christmas parade in Waukesha, around 20 miles west of downtown Milwaukee. 

Terrifying footage was posted on social media of the moment the car hit, with one video showing a woman screaming, "Oh my God!" repeatedly as a group of young dancers was hit.

One video, of dancers with pompoms, ends with a group of people tending to a girl on the ground.

READ MORE: At least five dead after SUV ploughs into crowd at Christmas parade

The car plowed into a crowd, leaving at least five people dead
The car plowed into a crowd, leaving at least five people dead. Picture: Social Media

Corey Montiho said: "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.

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

The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies posted on its Facebook page that "members of the group and volunteers were impacted and we are waiting for word on their conditions".

The group's profile describes them as a "group of grannies that meet once a week to practise routines for summer and winter parades".

Chris Germain, co-owner of the Aspire Dance Centre studio, had about 70 people in the parade ranging from the ages of two to 18.

Mr Germain, whose three-year-old daughter was in the parade, said he saw a maroon vehicle that "just blazed right past us".

"There were small children lying all over the road, there were police officers and emergency medical technicians doing CPR on multiple members of the parade," he said.

Angelito Tenorio said he was watching the parade with his family when they saw the vehicle come speeding into the area.

"Then we heard a loud bang," Mr Tenorio said.

"And after that, we just heard deafening cries and screams from the crowd, from the people at the parade.

"And people started rushing, running away with tears in their eyes, crying."

One video, of dancers with pompoms, ends with a group of people tending to a girl on the ground.

State governor Tony Evers said he and his wife were "praying for Waukesha tonight and all the kids, families, and community members affected by this senseless act".

The parade is held each year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. This year's, the 59th, had the theme of comfort and joy.

Waukesha is a western suburb of Milwaukee, about 55 miles north of Kenosha, where Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted on Friday of charges stemming from the shooting of three men during unrest in that city in August 2020.

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