December 7, 2021, 20:24

    Christmas parade death toll rises to six as boy, 8, dies days after car rampage

    Christmas parade death toll rises to six as boy, 8, dies days after car rampage

    A young boy has become the sixth victim of a Christmas parade tragedy that saw a driver plough through a crowd of revellers.

    Eight-year-old Jackson Sparks “sadly succumbed” to brain injuries, a relative wrote on Facebook, as his 12-year-old brother remained in hospital with a fractured skull.

    The man accused of driving a car into a Christmas parade near the US city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin made his first court appearance on Tuesday.

    Darrell Brooks, 39, appeared in Waukesha County Circuit Court and the court commissioner set bail at $5 million.

    Authorities say Brooks deliberately drove an SUV through police barricades on Sunday and the annual parade in the city of Waukesha.

    Darrell Brooks

    via REUTERS)

    He is currently charged with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide, according to prosecutors, who said he has a criminal history in three states.

    Those charges came before the sixth person, named as Jackson Sparks in a fundraiser, had died and prosecutors said more charges were pending.

    Paying tribute on the page organiser Alyssa Albro said: "This afternoon, our dear Jackson has sadly succumbed to his injuries and passed away.

    "Please know that [the family] appreciate your continued prayers and tremendous outpouring of support for their family."

    The horrifying carnage, part of which was captured on video, left six people dead and more than 60 injured.

    A makeshift memorial is pictured along the route of the parade

    AFP via Getty Images)

    Footage of the incident posted on social media showed a red SUV racing alongside the parade route and then into the procession, appearing to run over more than a dozen people before bystanders raced from sidewalks to help.

    "I saw children who were run over," Brian Hoffman, 33, a Waukesha resident, recounted on Monday. "I am still totally shocked."

    The victims killed ranged in age from 8 to 81, and included some members of the "Milwaukee Dancing Grannies" parade group.

    The injured included at least 18 children, who suffered facial abrasions, broken bones and serious head injuries and were taken to Wisconsin Children's hospital in Milwaukee.

    Some were listed in critical condition, officials said, while at least two of the children have been discharged from the hospital.

    "Our hearts are heavy over the loss of our grannies and volunteer," the Dancing Grannies said on Facebook on Tuesday, adding that some of the injured members were in stable condition and one has been released from a hospital.

    Memorials on a pavement in the centre of Waukesha

    Getty Images)

    US President Joe Biden called the attack "horrific," and Pope Francis sent a condolence message from the Vatican.

    Brooks, a Milwaukee resident, was arrested near the scene of the carnage on Sunday.

    Police have ruled out terrorism as a motive and said the suspect was out on bail from a domestic abuse case and acted alone.

    Officers were not pursuing Brooks when he drove his car through the parade route, but one fired shots to try to stop the sport utility vehicle, Waukesha police Chief Daniel Thompson said.

    At one of several vigils and services on Monday, Jeremy Wittig, 39, an information technology professional, said, "Waukesha is strong. That's why we are out here.''

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