1 year after attack, young Waukesha victim still recovering

Midwest

WAUKESHA, Wis. (NewsNation) — One year after a deadly attack at a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, an 11-year-old girl is still trying to physically recover, her mother told NewsNation.

The SUV attack killed six people and injured many others, including Jessalyn Torres. Her mother, Amber Kohnke, said it’s been a “horrible” year.

“She’s had 15 surgeries on her trachea alone,” said Kohnke.

Jessalyn also suffered a broken pelvis, eight broken ribs and a skull fracture in the attack.

On Wednesday, Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow sentenced 40-year-old Darrell Brooks Jr. on 76 charges, including six counts of first-degree intentional homicide and 61 counts of reckless endangerment for driving his Ford Escape through the parade in downtown Waukesha on Nov. 21, 2021, after getting into a fight with his ex-girlfriend.

Even after her daughter’s significant injuries, Kohnke told NewsNation she is relieved justice was served and that Brooks is “off the streets,” but also feels as though “nothing is really going to make this better,” she said.

Each homicide count Brooks faced carried a mandatory life sentence. The gallery applauded when Dorow announced the life sentences. Moments later she sentenced him to 762 years in prison on the endangerment counts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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