Girl, 11, injured in parade remains in critical condition


WAUKESHA, Wis. (NewsNation Now) — An 11-year-old girl who was struck by an SUV during the deadly incident in Waukesha on Sunday remains in a hospital.

Jessalyn Torres, 11, is a member of the Waukesha Xtreme Dance group and was part of Sunday’s Christmas parade.

Torres is in critical condition with a broken pelvis and contusions to her lungs. Her uncle, Ryan Kohnke, said she is responsive.

“I spoke with her. But shortly after I spoke with her, they intubated her,” Kohnke said.

Prosecutors Tuesday charged Darrell Brooks Jr. with intentional homicide in the deaths of five people who were killed; in addition, 62 people were injured.

Prosecutors say a sixth person, an 8-year-old boy, has died from his injuries and more charges are pending, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

“I was at the parade and witnessed the aftermath,” Kohnke said. “It was quite terrifying, terrifying. And I feel for anybody and I’m just happy that we have a chance. And I’m sorry for anybody that lost anybody and I wish the best for them.”

Kohnke said he’s spending most of his time just trying to help the community after the crash.

“… Helping with family, making sure my sister is set up OK, being at the hospital with Jessalyn. Checking on the other kids,” he said. “Every one of the children are dealing with trauma right now. We all witnessed the aftermath. Her other children were with the dance team. And they saw directly after what had happened to those people that were involved in it was horrific.”

Kohnke said the community is also focusing on how to provide mental health support for the children who witnessed the crash. Kohnke’s daughter also witnessed the crash.

“My daughter says that when she closes her eyes, she still sees her cousin on the ground,” he said.

Brooks made his initial appearance in court Tuesday.

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