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Three "Milwaukee Dancing Grannies" among those killed in Wisconsin holiday parade crash

Among those killed in Sunday night's SUV crash at a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin were members of a beloved group: The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies. The group posted about the tragedy on Facebook, saying the members who died "were the glue" that "held us together." 

"Our group was doing what they loved, performing in front of crowds in a parade, putting smiles on faces of all ages, filling them with joy and happiness," the group said on Monday. "...Those who died were extremely passionate Grannies. Their eyes gleamed ... joy of being a Grannie. They were the glue ... held us together. Our hearts are heavy at this most difficult time." 

The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies are devasted by this terrible tradegy with of loss of life and injuries in the Waukesha...

Posted by Milwaukee Dancing Grannies on Monday, November 22, 2021

The Dancing Grannies, formed in 1984, perform in dozens of parades every year and have won numerous awards, according to their website. Members of the group range in age from their early fifties to mid-seventies, with the only qualification for membership being that they have to be a grandmother.

The members who were killed include 79-year-old Virginia Sorenson, 71-year-old LeAnna Owen and 52-year-old Tamara Durand, according to CBS affiliate WDJT. Sorenson was the group's choreographer, Owen helped lead the front of the group during performances, and Durand was a new member. 

Sorenson's husband, David Sorenson, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel his wife loved being a part of the group. She was a registered nurse, according to her Facebook page.

"What did she like about it? Everything," he said. "She liked the instructing. She liked the dancing and the comradery of the women. She liked to perform." 

Durand's death came as she was making her debut with the group, her husband, David Durand, told the Journal Sentinel. Her last post on Facebook was on Sunday — photos of her dressed up and holding pom-poms as she was getting ready to head to the parade.

"She danced her way through life," he told the newspaper on Monday. "She danced when there was no music. She always danced. That describes her personality." 

Other victims of Sunday's incident include 81-year-old Wilhelm Hospel and 52-year-old Jane Kulich. More than 40 others, including at least 18 children, were injured. 

Authorities said the suspect who plowed his SUV into the parade route, Darrell Brooks, did it intentionally after leaving a domestic disturbance scene. He was out on bail, having been arrested after a woman told police he ran over her at a gas station earlier this month.

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