'Devastated': 3 members of 'Milwaukee Dancing Grannies' group killed in Waukesha parade tragedy
WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- At least five people were killed and dozens more injured after an SUV barreled through the Waukesha Holiday Parade route on Sunday, Nov. 21. Among the victims are three members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies group.
The group was participating in the parade when a red SUV plowed through the parade, hitting dozens of people.
The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies welcomed me with open arms. In that moment, I knew I’ll always have family in Wisconsin. It’s very hard to be a human and a reporter in this business. However, I’ll always be a HUMAN first.#Mydancinggranniespic.twitter.com/bbvoFhjQev— Winnie Marie (@WinnieMarieNEWS) November 22, 2021
Authorities identified the three victims as 79-year-old Virginia Sorenson, 71-year-old Lee Owen, and 52-year-old Tamara Durand -- all who were members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies.
Sorensen was the choreographer of the group, Owen led the charge in the front and Durand was the newest member.
"Our hearts are just feeling so sad because they have been and will continue to be a great inspiration to many," Pam King said. She is the executive director of the Grafton Area Chamber of Commerce. The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies are part of the Grafton parade every year.
The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies released a statement:
"The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies are devastated by this terrible tragedy with of loss of life and injuries in the Waukesha Christmas parade.
Our group was doing what they loved, performing in front of crowds in a parade putting smiles on faces of all ages, filling them with joy and happiness. While performing the grannies enjoyed hearing the crowds cheers and applause which certainly brought smiles to their faces and warmed their hearts.
Those who died were extremely passionate Grannies. Their eyes gleamed.....joy of being a Grannie. They were the glue....held us together.
Our hearts are heavy at this most difficult time, as more information and updates become available it will be posted . Please keep them their families, friends, the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies and everyone who lives have forever changed in your thoughts and prayers."
The SUV involved has been located and a person of interest is in custody.
Officials have warned the number of victims may change as they collect more information.