Dancing Granny shuts down Waukesha killer after he asks if she saw him driving SUV that killed 6

Dancing Granny shuts down Waukesha killer after he asks if she saw him driving SUV that killed 6
Darrell Brooks (right) cross-examined Laura Thein (left), one of the survivors of the Waukesha parade killing (Photo credit Law&Crime/YouTube)

WAUKESHA, WISCONSIN: When questioned about whether she saw Darrell Brooks driving the SUV that plowed into the Waukesha parade, killing six people, a survivor of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies troupe retaliated with a crisp reply. On Thursday, October 13, Laura Thein took the testimony in a trial that had been repeatedly delayed because of Brooks' disruptions and tantrums which had gotten worse since he opted to represent himself.

Brooks, 40, is charged with plowing his automobile through the Waukesha, Wisconsin Christmas parade on November 21, 2021, killing six people between the ages of 8 to 81 and wounding over 60 more. Three of them belonged to the Dancing Grannies company and one of them was the husband of a member of the group. To Thein who participated in the march but was not struck, they were all friends and felt like family. Thein testified in court about how, as the truck raced by her from behind, she noticed a crimson streak go by as she was performing in the parade with her group to ‘Winter Wonderland.’ She claimed that because it "happened in a matter of seconds," she did not see anyone being struck by the car. During cross-examination, Brooks pushed her by asking, "So you didn't get a look at the driver at all?" when she said she hadn't had a chance to see who was operating the car. "No, I don't have eyes in the back of my head," Thein retorted.

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Darrell E. Brooks, the suspect in the Waukesha parade tragedy. (Waukesha County Sheriff)
Darrell E. Brooks questioned one of the survivors of the Waukesha Christmas parade (Waukesha County Sheriff)

Thein also delivered a heartfelt depiction of the tragedy as she recounted witnessing the attack's aftermath. “It all happened in a matter of seconds,” she said. “And after the car kept going, I looked down the road and all I seen were bodies. I thought I was in a war. Because there were so many.” The attack claimed the lives of three members of the Dancing Grannies troupe: Tamara Durand, 52; LeAnna Owen, 71; and Virginia Ginny Sorenson, 79. Another victim, William Hospel, 81, also perished as a result of the blow.  “We were like sisters,” Thein said of the Dancing Grannies. “We were a sisterhood.” According to Thein, it was Tamara Durand's first parade. “She was so excited about being a granny,” said Thein as reported by Daily Mail. “She worked for months and months to learn all the routines. That was the first and last parade she ever did.” Thein said that she was in front of the music vehicle which was being driven by her husband. According to her, the red SUV struck Bill and Tamara after coming from the side. “I saw a streak of red going past,” Thein said. “It just whizzed past me. I didn't see them get hit it happened so quick,” Thein continued. “I screamed in my head or out loud. I said, 'What is he doing? Where is he going?' It was so unusual. If he was going down the parade route, he was going to hurt a lot of people.”

She claimed in court that she never observed the SUV slow down. “It came from the right, hit two people and came in the middle, hit two more people and hit two more,” Thein said Jackson Sparks, 8 and Jane Kulich, 52, were the other two victims who also received injuries and died. In addition to 61 counts of recklessly endangering safety, six counts of hit-and-run resulting in death, two counts of bail jumping, six counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one case of misdemeanor battery, Brooks is accused of committing six fatal hit-and-runs.

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