Fundraisers beg for Waukesha victims
Madison, Wes. – Friends and families of nearly 50 people, including many children, who were hit by an SUV that set off on a Christmas parade in a downtown Milwaukee suburb, say they sustained life-threatening injuries, with some clinging to life.
Online fundraising appeals illustrate the scale of some of the injuries caused by the accident, which has killed five people so far and injured 48 others. The suspect, Daryl Brooks Jr., was due to appear for the first time in court on Tuesday.
A girl named Jessaline, whose last name has not been given, is shown smiling directly for the camera on a GoFundMe page, wearing a white Santa hat and holding matching balls. She poses alongside other girls of the Waukesha Xtreme Dance Team in a photo taken moments before her injury.
Jessalyn is “fighting for her life,” according to a fundraising account set up by family friend Oscar Luna. Luna said she lost a kidney, broke her pelvis, and damaged her liver and lungs.
“This holiday season is going to be tough for them,” he said of their family.
Julia, who also walked with her dance team and whose last name was also not given, is “fighting for her life,” and is suffering brain trauma after being injured, according to her fundraising page set up by family friend Jane McCarthy.
“Everyone who knows this little girl knows how much happiness she brings to the world,” the post reads. “She has a heart of gold, a smile that can light up a room and is loved by many.”
Brothers Tucker and Jackson Sparks were among three sets of siblings who were hospitalized after being hit by their SUV, and are still at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, according to an online fundraiser organized by Cousin.
Tucker, 12, has a head injury but is recovering, and Jackson, 8, has a more serious brain injury and “needs a miracle,” according to Alyssa Albro, niece of the boys’ parents, Aaron and Sherry Sparks.
“It devastated the whole family,” Alberu wrote. She said the boys’ parents are on the side of their bed.
Aidan Logren, a student at Waukesha South High School, was beaten while performing with the marching band, with a broken rib, according to an online fundraiser.
“Family is tough but the road ahead will also be tough, physically and emotionally,” the organizer said.
Tamara Rosentretter was doing what she loves, enjoying the crowd as part of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, when she was hit by an SUV that killed three of her fellow dancers.
The mother of four and the grandmother of one of them was the band’s leader, according to an online fundraising association seeking to help Rosenstrieter’s recovery. The organizer sent Rosentreter a message saying, “I’m still here. So much pain, stitches, broken bones, so many bumps and bruises. I love you all.”
She described how one woman prayed for her at the scene to “help me in peace and comfort” and how another woman kept the blanket warm.
“This tragedy is hard to get around to,” she said, saying she was “in pain” for the victims and their families, those who witnessed the devastation and “to my fellow family members and friends.”
Lucero Isabel Perales says several family members were part of the show and hit the SUV. This includes a cousin who has a fractured skull and is in a coma, an uncle who underwent six hours of surgery to break his leg and another cousin who has bruises all over her body.
“This is a very difficult time for all of us, it was something very unexpected,” wrote Isabel Perales.
More than $560,000 was raised by Tuesday morning, less than 24 hours after most of the 12 verified GoFundMe pages were created for victims of the show.
Webber reports from Fenton, Michigan.
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