They are described as “some” of the 25 people injured Saturday night in a Wisconsin city when an SUV accidentally hit parade-goers as it drove along a narrow path blocked by cement barriers, officials said.
“I know that some folks are deceased. It is a tragic situation,” Chief Ken Weininger of the Forest County Sheriff’s Department said at a Sunday evening news conference.
The victims, which are still being treated at two hospitals, are from the Milwaukee area, though there are still a number of people being evaluated and released, Weininger said.
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm said Sunday night he was “emotionally ready to go” but his office won’t announce charging decisions for another two weeks.
The people injured include many teens and children who were taking part in a nearby annual Christmas parade, officials said. Some remained hospitalized, Weininger said.
According to Fox News, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke blamed a stretch of road in Forest County for the crash. The tree-lined town of Cadott, Wisconsin, lies about 40 miles southwest of Milwaukee.
“They’re sitting ducks for an SUV,” Clarke said. “The cones, they’re stuck to the trees. That’s not safe. That’s a cow pasture road, which is what that road is. So, that’s why it took so long for these people to get over the median.”
Officials said the incident occurred on County Highway V just after 8 p.m. when a passenger in a Chevy Blazer as it drove along a curvy gravel road instead drove into a group of other vehicles gathered for the tree-lighting ceremony.
“A 2008 Chevy Blazer, traveling eastbound on the County Highway V gravel road, collided with a group of vehicles gathered at the parade,” a statement from the Forest County Sheriff’s Department read. “Injured were an estimated 25 people, of which approximately 20 were transported to area hospitals.”
Forest County officials said the National Transportation Safety Board was investigating.
Fox News’ Cokie Roberts and Reuters contributed to this report.