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8-year-old dies from injuries suffered in Waukesha Christmas parade tragedy

Jackson Sparks
Posted at 4:17 PM, Nov 23, 2021

WAUKESHA, Wis. — An 8-year-old boy has died from injuries suffered in Sunday's tragedy at the Waukesha Christmas parade.

Jackson Sparks, 8, passed away Tuesday, according to a post from Life Point Church on Facebook as well as an update shared on a GoFundMe fundraiser.

"This afternoon, our dear Jackson has sadly succumbed to his injuries and passed away," the update reads.

Jackson's brother, Tucker Sparks, 12, continues to heal.

"Tucker, by the grace of God is miraculously recovering from his injuries and will be being discharged home," the update continues.

"Any donation, large or small, is so appreciated and will make a big difference to the Sparks family," the GoFundMe donation page says. "Aaron and Sheri are people of faith, so please continue to lift them and their boys in prayer. Even if you're not able to give, please share their story."

LifePoint Church also said in a statement that Jackson's parents, Aaron and Sheri, is thankful for everyone's prayers and support.

"Please know that they appreciate your continued prayers and tremendous outpouring of support for their family," the statement said. "They do however ask for privacy at this time to allow Tucker to continue to heal physically and their family to heal and mourn the tremendous loss of their sweet little boy who is now under the care of Jesus."

Jackson's pastor, Rob Jadrnicek with LifePoint Church, says he's known the family for several years. He said they would come to service weekly.

Rob Jadrnicek
Jackson's pastor, Rob Jadrnicek with LifePoint Church, says he's known the family for several years. He said they would come to service weekly.

"Great young man, little 8-year-old, runs all over the place, does everything," Jadrnicek says. "That family is a great family. That family is a great family, great smiles."

Pastor Jadrnicek points out how much everyone has offered their help and their prayers.

"You'd be blown away at mankind, humanity," he said.

The Mukwonago Area School District responded to the death of Jackson.

"The Mukwonago Area School District is heartbroken over the loss of lives in the Waukesha Christmas Parade tragedy," the district said in a statement on Tuesday. "Sadly we lost one of our students today. We are honoring the family's request for privacy and ask others to do the same."

Jackson and his family are members of the Waukesha Blazers Baseball and Fastpitch Softball Club.

Club President Jeff Rogers said, "Jackson was a sweet, talented boy who was a joy to coach. He was an awesome utility player and played on the Blazers Wolfpack team. Jackson was sweet and tender-hearted with a contagious smile. He was the little guy on the team that everyone supported. You couldn’t help but love him.”

Five other people were killed Sunday when a suspect sped his car into the crowd at the parade. Police identified that suspect on Monday as Darrell Brooks, 39, of Milwaukee.

    The five other victims who were killed have been identified as Virginia Sorenson, 79, LeAnna Owen, 71, Tamara Durand, 52, Jane Kulich, 42, and Wilhelm Hospel, 81.

    Waukesha police chief reads names of those killed in Christmas parade tragedy

    Thomas Kluka Jr. was at the parade. He told TODAY he threw his daughter out of the way to avoid her being struck.

    "I noticed him coming through the crowd and I noticed something was not right, and then I saw people flying as I stood up," Kluka told Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb.

    "I'm like 'Oh no.' My daughter stood up, I threw her out of the way, then I basically yelled, 'Get out of the way,' and my wife got out of the way, and by the time she did, the car came right past me within at least two feet. I could've touched the car going by."

    'There were a lot of people crying': Waukesha residents struggle to process horror at Christmas parade tragedy

    The Waukesha School District announced that classes would be canceled Monday as a result of the incident and that counselors would be made available to students.

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