Tamara Durand Wiki
Tamara Durand Biography
Who was Tamara Durand ?
The 58th annual Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Sunday was the first time Tamara Durand performed with the beloved company known as Dancing Grannies.
But what was supposed to be a festive rite of passage ended in tragedy for the 52-year-old and dozens of others after a red pickup truck smashed through the barricades and into the crowd. Durand, who had worked as a hospice and intensive care chaplain at Waukesha Memorial Hospital and once saved a homeless man from drowning in the Wisconsin River, was one of at least five people who died in the chaos. At least 48 other people were injured, including more than a dozen children.
“She was super energetic, she was that kind of person that when she walks into the room, everyone notices her smile,” Durand’s husband Dave told The Daily Beast in a phone interview Monday. “She literally she danced her way through life. She was the youngest of the Dancing Grannies. Dancing was her favorite thing. It was the first time she was with them, which is also so tragic. ”
Arrested and Charged
The Waukesha Police Department confirmed Monday that Darrell Brooks, a 39-year-old s*x offender who recently posted bail on recklessness charges, has been arrested as the sole suspect in the van attack. Waukesha boss Daniel Thompson said Monday the carnage unfolded minutes after Brooks was involved “in a domestic disturbance.”
Brooks will now face multiple charges in the shocking incident that also killed 79-year-old Virginia “Ginny” Sorenson; LeAnna Owen, 71 years old; Jane Kulich, 52; and Wilhelm Hospel, 81.
In addition to the five victims, dozens of parade attendees were injured in the attack, including at least 18 children. Among them were members of the Waukesha Xtreme Dance Team, which performed in the parade. A GoFundMe campaign for one of the young dancers hit directly by the van, Jessalyn, said she was “fighting for her life” of hers as of Monday morning.
“She is [sic] in ICU with high oxygen, lost a kidney, ruptured pelvis, lacerations to the liver, lung damage, tachycardia and many blood transfusions,” the verified campaign said. “At this very moment she asks for prayers, hope and faith!”
The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies confirmed to The Daily Beast that in addition to Durand, Sorenson and Owen were members of the amateur dance company that has been a fixture in local parades for nearly 40 years. CBS58 reported that Hospel’s wife was also a member of the group and that he volunteered to help.
“Those who died were extremely passionate grandmothers,” the group said in a statement Monday. “His eyes were shining…. joy of being a grandmother. They were the glue … they held us together. ”
Virginia Sorenson’s husband told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that his wife of more than five decades was an instructor and choreographer for the Grannies. David Sorenson added that the group’s registered nurse and 19-year veteran were near the back of the meeting holding a banner when Brooks hit the road.
“What did you like about that?
“What did you like about that? Everything, ”he told the newspaper, adding that he, too, was helping at the event. “She liked the instruction. She liked dancing and the camaraderie of women. She liked acting. ”
But Durand, who met his future wife when they were in high school, was not at Sunday’s parade with his brother and some of his nieces and nephews. When he found out about the accident, he “ran off” to get to the scene as quickly as possible.
“They had already sealed everything and we really couldn’t get in,” he told The Daily Beast.
The pain was still fresh, she added, and funeral preparations are in limbo for the mother of three.
“Unfortunately, because it’s a crime scene, they need to do an autopsy,” Durand said. “I identified her body last night, so we are on hold.”