WAUKESHA, Wis. — Eighteen of the more than 40 people injured by an SUV that plowed through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Sunday afternoon were children ages 3-16, officials from the Children's Wisconsin Hospital in Wauwatosa said Monday morning. Five people were killed in the incident.
Of the injuries the community sustained, Dr. Michael Gutzeit, chief medical officer and vice president of Children's Wisconsin, said they go "well beyond the physical. It will take time to heal."
“We are trained for these types of incidents, but you never want to experience them," said Dr. Amy Drendel, medical director of Children's emergency department.
She said that immediately upon being notified of the mass casualty incident, which occurred at about 4:40 p.m., the hospital initiated emergency protocols and began calling in nurses, doctors and surgeons who were not on duty to come in and to prepare for the flood of expected patients.
The first patient was admitted to the hospital at about 5:30 p.m. Of the 18 children admitted, two have been discharged, said Dr. Michael Meyer, intensive care unit medical director. Of the 18 total admitted, nine were listed as being in fair condition, although one of those nine is still in the pediatric intensive care unit.
Drendel said that there are three sets of siblings among the 18.
Blood donations are being sought to help respond to the tragedy.
"Blood is always needed ... but in situations like this, there can be exceptional needs for blood," Gutzeit said. To donate blood, Gutzeit said donors should go to their local blood donation center, not to any specific hospital. To find the nearest blood donation center, click here.
Darrell Brooks Jr. of Milwaukee has been identified by The Associated Press and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as the primary suspect as the driver of the SUV, causing the casualties and fatalities. Multiple media outlets have reported that Brooks has a long criminal history that includes hitting others with cars. The Washington Post has reported that Brooks was fleeing a knife fight when he allegedly ran over participants and spectators on the Waukesha parade route.
Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson tells members of the media that a "person of interest" was taken into custody after an SUV drove into people during a Christmas parade Sunday. He said it was unclear whether the act of violence was motivated by terrorism.