On Air Now

DuBois Weather

Wisconsin Christmas parade victims: What we know about the lives lost


(WAUKESHA, Wis.) — Six people, including an 8-year-old, were killed after an SUV driver plowed into a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Sunday afternoon.

The 39-year-old suspect is in custody.

Here is what we know about the lives lost:

Tamara Durand, 52

Tamara Durand was dancing for the first time with the Dancing Grannies group at the parade, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

A former elementary school teacher, Durand recently turned her focus to watching her grandson several days a week so her daughter could attend nursing school, the newspaper said.

Durand’s husband, Dave Durand, said in a statement, “Tammy was a vibrant, loving and warm woman who we all miss deeply already. Her memory will bring joy to all who knew her.”

Jane Kulich, 52

Jane Kulich is survived by her husband, three children and grandchildren, said her niece, Desiree Kulich.

Kulich was family-oriented, her niece said, and went to church each Sunday and held a family game night on the weekends.

“My aunt Jane was one of those people that could be described as an angel on Earth. She was one of those people that you could tell anything to and not fear to be judged,” Desiree Kulich told ABC News via email.

“Family was always first,” she said. “The whole family feels robbed.”

Virginia Sorenson, 79

Virginia Sorenson was dancing with the Dancing Grannies at the parade, a group she had been with for 19 years.

She loved to dance and helped choreograph the group’s routines, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Sorenson was a registered nurse, grandmother and animal lover, caring at home for horses, chickens, dogs and cats, the Sentinel reported.

She leaves behind a husband of 56 years, the Sentinel reported.

Wilhelm Hospel, 81

Wilhelm Hospel’s wife, Lola, was a former member of the Dancing Grannies and a friend of victim Leanna Owen, said Owen’s son.

Wilhelm Hospel was retired but spent his time doing repair work at a rental property he owned, his brother, Theodore Hospel, told The New York Post.

“He was so healthy,” Theodore Hospel said. “He was a strong person and even would help me out a lot of times because he was so strong. I cannot believe it.”

Leanna Owen, 71

Leanna Owen, who went by Lee, was a grandmother of three and a member of the Dancing Grannies.

Her son, Chris Owen, called the group “a big part of her life,” adding, “She loved dancing in the parades.”

Chris Owen said in a statement to ABC News, “She tried to help everyone she could. People who knew her loved her.”

Jackson Sparks, 8

Jackson Sparks, 8, and his 12-year-old brother Tucker were both hospitalized in intensive care after being “seriously injured” at the parade, according to a statement released Tuesday by a local church on behalf of their parents.

Jackson died on Tuesday from his injuries.

“Tucker, by the grace of God is miraculously recovering,” the statement said.

Jeff Rogers, president of the Waukesha Blazers Baseball/Fastpitch Softball Club, called Jackson “a sweet, talented boy who was a joy to coach.”

“Jackson was tender-hearted with a contagious smile,” Rogers said. “He was the little guy on the team that everyone supported. You couldn’t help but love him.”

ABC News’ Nadine Shubailat, Ahmad Hemingway, Jessica Hornig and Aaron Katersky contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.