Local Christmas parade safety discussed after tragedy in Wisconsin

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 11:35 PM EST
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BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A Christmas parade in Wausheka, Wisconsin, on Sunday turned into a scene of a tragedy, as a driver plowed into a crowd, killing at least five people and injuring nearly 50 more.

Investigators say no motive is known, and the suspect was involved in a domestic disturbance shortly before driving his SUV into the parade.

It’s believed to be an isolated incident.

Barboursville Mayor Chris Tatum says the incident puts everyone on alert, and it will be a part of the discussion as they get closer to their Christmas parade on Dec. 2.

Tatum says they already park city vehicles at intersections along their parade route to keep traffic out as much as possible, and it’s always all hands on deck, with every police officer working during the village’s parades -- some working overtime, so the whole route is covered from start to finish.

Tatum says the goal is to keep anyone with ill intent or who shouldn’t be behind the wheel from hurting parade-goers.

“We like to think things are different where we live, but the fact is there’s a possibility of what happened in Wisconsin happening anywhere,” Tatum said, “so we try to stay on top of things and be prepared for any possibility.”

The Ashland Christmas parade will be held Tuesday night. When asked about security measures there, Ashland Police Chief Todd Kelley declined to comment, saying that discussion would challenge their strategies for security.

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