cloudy.png
Wednesday December 8th, 2021 1:38PM

'Glue me back together': Online pleas to aid parade victims

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Friends and families of the roughly 60 people, including many children, hit by an SUV that sped through a Christmas parade in a suburban Milwaukee downtown say many suffered life-threatening injuries.

One of them, 8-year-old Jackson Sparks, died on Tuesday, his parents announced on his GoFundMe page. His brother, 12-year-old Tucker Sparks, was going to be discharged from the hospital.

The boys — among three sets of siblings hospitalized after being struck by the SUV — were marching with their baseball team when they were hit.

Tucker has head injuries but is recovering and will be sent home, according to Alyssa Albro, the niece of the boys’ parents, Aaron and Sheri Sparks. Jackson had suffered a more serious brain injury.

“The entire family is devastated,” Albro wrote.

A young girl who is a member of a dance troupe struck by the SUV, a moment captured on cellphone video, woke up Monday and told doctors, “just glue me back together,” according to her GoFundMe fundraising page organized by a family friend.

“No child or parent should have to endure this amount pain and suffering," the girl's mother, Amber Konhke, posted Tuesday afternoon.

The fundraising pleas detail the extent of some of the injuries from the incident that has left six people dead so far and more than 60 hurt. The suspect, Darrell Brooks Jr., was charged with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide. A sixth count for the death of Jackson Sparks, which happened after the complaint was drawn up, will be added, according to Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper.

Konhke's daughter Jessalyn is shown smiling directly at the camera on one GoFundMe page, wearing a white Santa hat and holding matching pompoms. She is standing alongside other girls on the Waukesha Xtreme Dance team in a picture taken moments before she was struck.

Jessalyn is “fighting for her life,” according to the fundraising account established by family friend Oscar Luna. She lost a kidney, broke her pelvis and has damage to her liver and lungs, Luna said.

“This holiday season will be a brutal one for them,” he said of their family.

In an update posted Tuesday morning, Luna wrote that she had woken up briefly Monday.

“She is not fully aware of the severity of her injuries but managed to say, ‘just glue me back together,’” he wrote. “Only a child could reference themselves as a little doll in this situation.”

Julia, who was also marching with her dance team and whose last name also isn't given, “is in the fight for her life,” suffering from brain trauma after being hit, her fundraising page established by family friend Jen McCarthy says.

“Everyone that knows this little girl knows what joy she brings to the world,” the post says. “She has a heart of gold, a smile that can light up the room and is loved by so many.”

Aidan Laughrin, a senior at Waukesha South High School, was hit while performing with the marching band, suffering fractured ribs, according to an online fundraiser.

The family is “tough but the road ahead is going to be tough too, both physically and emotionally,” the organizer posted.

Another band member, saxophonist Tyler Pudleiner, also was struck and has undergone two surgeries since Sunday. "He has a long road to recovery,” wrote Joane Chmiel, one of two people raising money to help Pudleiner.

Tamara Rosentreter was doing what she loved, entertaining the crowd as part of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, when she was struck by the SUV that took the lives of three of her fellow dancers.

The mother of four and grandmother of one was the leader of the troupe, according to an online fundraiser seeking help for Rosenstreter’s recovery. The organizer posted a message from Rosenstreter, who said “I’m still here. Lots of pain, stitches, broken bones and lots of bumps and bruises. Love you ALL.”

She described how a woman prayed for her at the scene “to help give me peace and comfort” and how another kept her warm with a blanket.

“This tragedy is so hard to wrap my head around,” she said, saying her “heart aches” for the victims and their families, those who witnessed the devastation and “for my teammates and their families who are my family.”

Lucero Isabel Perales says several family members were a part of the parade and were struck by the SUV. That includes a cousin with skull fractures who is in a coma, an uncle who underwent six hours of surgery for a broken leg and another cousin with bruises all over her body.

“This is a very hard time for all of us, it was something so unexpected,” Isabel Perales wrote.

Nearly $900,000 had been raised by Tuesday evening for the 22 GoFundMe-verified pages for parade victims. Another community fund for victims had raised more than $600,000 by Tuesday morning, said Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly. The Waukesha County Community Foundation said that fund had grown to more than $916,000 by Tuesday afternoon.

“There’s so much outpouring of support,” Reilly said. “It warms your heart to know that people are saying, ‘We support your community, we feel for you.’”

___

Associated Press writer Carrie Antlfinger contributed to this report from Milwaukee. Webber reported from Fenton, Michigan.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Ahmaud Arbery case goes to jury after 13-day trial
A jury now has the case after a 13-day trial of three white men charged with murder and other crimes in the death of Ahmaud Arbery
12:22PM ( 6 minutes ago )
'Mama, are you OK?' In Waukesha, minutes of terror recounted
Participants like the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies were in the holiday spirit as they stepped off for the Waukesha Christmas Parade
12:15PM ( 13 minutes ago )
'Glue me back together': Online pleas to aid parade victims
Friends and families of the roughly 50 people hit by an SUV that sped through a Christmas parade in a suburban Milwaukee downtown say they suffered life-threatening injuries, with some clinging to life
12:11PM ( 17 minutes ago )
U.S. News
US sues to halt sugar merger, says it would harm competition
The Justice Department has filed a lawsuit seeking to block a major U.S. sugar manufacturer from acquiring its rival
11:59AM ( 29 minutes ago )
Belarus says it has helped more than 100 migrants leave
Belarusian authorities say they have helped more than 100 migrants leave the country and more are prepared to leave
11:56AM ( 31 minutes ago )
Iraqi baby buried as death toll in EU-Belarus crisis grows
A Polish imam recited prayers over the tiny white casket of an unborn Iraqi boy
11:54AM ( 34 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Bus crashes, catches fire in Bulgaria; at least 45 dead
Authorities say a bus carrying tourists back to North Macedonia crashed and caught fire in western Bulgaria, killing at least 45 people, including a dozen children
11:22AM ( 1 hour ago )
Attorney: Defendants in Arbery death can't use self-defense
A prosecutor is arguing that the three white men charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery have no right to claim self-defense because they were the ones who first approached the 25-year-old Black man while he was running in his neighborhood
9:54AM ( 2 hours ago )
Trial in Ahmaud Arbery's killing nears going to the jury
The trial of three white men charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery could soon be in the hands of the jury
9:02AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP National News
Rittenhouse tells Fox News 'not a racist person,' backs BLM
Kyle Rittenhouse says in a new interview that he believes the jury that acquitted him of murder came to the right verdict, and he's now hoping to lay low for a while
4:24AM ( 8 hours ago )
Bidens open holidays with Christmas tree and 'friendsgiving'
President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, are getting into the holiday spirit
12:07AM ( 12 hours ago )
Florida massacre families to get millions for FBI's inaction
The families of most of those killed in the 2018 Florida high school massacre will receive $127 million from the federal government to settle a lawsuit
8:34PM ( 15 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Ahmaud Arbery case goes to jury after 13-day trial
A jury now has the case after a 13-day trial of three white men charged with murder and other crimes in the death of Ahmaud Arbery
12:22PM ( 6 minutes ago )
'Mama, are you OK?' In Waukesha, minutes of terror recounted
Participants like the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies were in the holiday spirit as they stepped off for the Waukesha Christmas Parade
12:15PM ( 13 minutes ago )
The Santa experience this year is a mix of laps, distancing
Santa is back this year, but he's asking people to be cautious as he continues to tiptoe through the pandemic
12:06PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Waukesha parade crash suspect's bail raises questions
The suspect in a Christmas parade crash in suburban Milwaukee that killed five people was free on $1,000 bail posted just two days before the deadly event, a fact that is leading to a review of what happened and renewed calls for giving judges more power to set higher bails
12:05PM ( 23 minutes ago )
UN nuclear watchdog chief presses for more access in Iran
The head of the United Nations’ atomic watchdog is meeting with Iranian officials to press for greater access in the Islamic Republic
11:29AM ( 58 minutes ago )