The family of a mother-of-three who was killed during the Waukesha Christmas parade attack is donating her organs to survivors.
Jane Kulich, 52, had been passing out candy to children in Waukesha, Wisconsin on Sunday night before suspect Darrell Brooks, 39, plowed his SUV through the parade and killed her and five others.
Kulich’s sister-in-law Shawn said she died ‘doing something she loved’. She leaves behind her husband as well as her three children and three grandchildren.
Some of her organs will now be donated to some of the 62 injured survivors who were also run down during the parade.
Jane Kulich, 52, was one of the six victims killed during the Waukesha Christmas parade attack while she was passing out candy to children
Kulich’s family is donating some of her organs to some of the 62 surviving victims of the attack
Kulich and her husband John who said she was a ‘beautiful person’ and ‘loved by everyone’
Shawn Kulich spoke to PEOPLE on Tuesday about the tragedy as well as her sister-in-law’s organ donation.
‘God works in mysterious ways,’ she had written in a text message. ‘My brother and his children were so thrilled to learn this news.
‘Some tears from this tragedy have been turned into tears of joy now!!!! I know Jane is smiling for this!’
She continued to describe her fun and loving sister-in-law as an ‘amazing’ family woman.
‘She just was an amazing mother. Amazing mother, amazing grandmother, amazing sister-in-law, all around good people,’ Kulich told PEOPLE.
‘One of the things my brother said earlier today is he just could not get over all the phone calls and the texts and the people coming by. He had no idea how so many people loved Jane.’
Kulich also said that her sister-in-law was not a hateful person and would never react in a negative way to such a terrible tragedy.
A street memorial was placed by Kenosha residents to honor victims of the Sunday tragedy
‘Jane’s heart was a heart of gold,’ Kulich continued. ‘She would want whoever’s still in the hospital to heal totally and well, and their families.’
‘I know she’d be hurting for everybody else right now, but I do know she would want the world to know that this was an awful, awful tragedy, but she wouldn’t want people to hate or hurt each other because of it.’
Jane’s husband John Kulich also spoke out about her death who described as the family’s ‘rock’ that held them together.
‘She was a beautiful person, not only to us, but to everyone she met,’ Kulich told CBS.
‘I never heard a bad word about her. Everyone who met her always loved her.’
‘Her whole world was her family. And she was good at it, really good at it. She was the rock that held us together, the stable force,’ Kulich said.
The family’s GoFundMe page for Kulich has raised nearly $16,500 of its $20,000 goal since it was organized on Tuesday.
Terrifying video footage captured the moment Darrell Brooks, 39, plowed through the Christmas parade which had killed six victims and injured 62
Police officers are seen walking through debris that had been left by the crowd following the attack
The streets were closed on the parade route as the crash was being investigated on Monday
Darrell Brooks, 39, was the suspected driver in the attack that had driven his red SUV in the middle of the parade
The Christmas parade began on Sunday at 4pm, with participants starting at Main St. and Whiterock Ave. It was always intended to be a short parade, ending half a mile away at the northeast corner of Cutler Park. At 4.39pm, the red SUV is filmed speeding down Main Street. It smashed into the crowd, and sent bodies flying, before carrying on down towards the end of the parade, where the car broke through barriers. The SUV was found less than five blocks away and the driver was taken into custody
The donated organs will go to some of the 62 surviving victims of the parade crash.
An 11-year-old victim Jessalyn Torres had been injured while she was performing with the Waukesha Xtreme Dance group at the parade.
Torres had been left fighting for her life with a lost kidney, broken pelvis and lacerations to her lungs and remaining kidney.
On Tuesday morning, she had even asked doctors to ‘glue her back together’ as she continues to hold on.
Ryan Kohnke, her uncle, said he was left devastated by the tragedy after witnessing the attack.
‘It’s just senseless violence,’ Kohnke told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. ‘The horrific scene that followed and the trauma that it’s going to have on this community, it’s unfortunate.’
He has helped organize a GoFundMe page so his sister and Jess’s mother Amber can pay for medical expenses.
Fourth-grader Kenzie Hollingsworth was another of the children injured in the crash. She suffered a fractured skull, bleeding in the brain and a broken leg.
‘Miss Kenzie has a long road to recovery, but we know she is a strong, resilient, little angel,’ wrote Katharine Krzysik on a GoFundMe page.
GoFundMe pages were organized for other victims as well to financially support them and their families.
One family had surpassed their goal of raising their $50,000 goal which had been organized by Osvaldo Perez for his little sister Camila and mother Romelia.
Camila had suffered from a fractured leg and head injuries while Romelia had internal bleeding and fractures to her pelvis, spine, wrist and leg.
A page had also been organized for Milwaukee Dancing Grannies survivor Tamara Rosentreter. Tree of the group’s members were killed on Sunday.
Rosentreter said she had suffered from broken bones and received stitches for her injuries but is grateful to be alive.
Jessalyn Torres was performing in the parade with the Waukesha Xtreme Dance group on Sunday when an SUV struck her
Fourth-grader Kenzie Hollingsworth suffered a fractured skull, bleeding in the brain and a broken leg
Tamara Rosentreter (left) was a surviving member of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies. The grandmother of four is on her way to recovery, but her family said she would be out of work for at least six months ‘due to multiple injuries
‘My heart aches for my teammates (and) their families,’ she wrote on Facebook, ‘who are my family.’
Rosentreter’s daughter Amber Knutson had organized the page with a goal of reaching $45,000. It has reached nearly $20,000 so far.
‘She has a long recovery ahead of her before she can get back on her feet,’ Knutson wrote. ‘She is very lucky to be here today.’
A total of six people have died following the brutal attack on Sunday.
Waukesha Christmas Parade Victims
Jackson Sparks (age 8):
Sparks had been marching with his baseball team when he was struck and had undergone brain surgery on Sunday night. He had been marching alongside his brother Tucker, 12, who suffered from a fractured skull but is expected to survive. He died from his injuries on Tuesday
Tamara Durand (age 52):
Durand was a new member of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies who was marching with the group for the first time on Sunday night. Her body was identified at the morgue by her husband Dave
LeAnna Owen (age 71)
The shortest member of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies who had been the manager of an apartment building for 10 years. She leaves behind two sons
Virginia Sorenson (age 79)
A proud member of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies who was carrying the banner with the group at the time of the accident. The registered nurse leaves behind three children and six grandchildren
Wilhelm Hospel (age 82):
Hospel’s wife Lola was one of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies marching in the parade. He was helping the group at the parade and died after suffering from internal bleeding and injuries to his pelvis
The youngest of these victims was eight-year-old Jackson Sparks who had been marching in the parade with his baseball team at the time of the attack.
Sparks, who had been described as a ‘sweet, talented’ boy, was the most recent fatality announced after he died from his injuries on Tuesday afternoon.
A GoFundMe page was organized for him which said that he had undergone brain surgery on the day of the attack.
His brother, Tucker, was also struck and suffered from a fractured skull but is expected to recover.
Their family has since requested privacy in order to give them time to heal.
‘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,’ Jeff Rogers, president of the Waukesha Blazers Baseball/Fastpitch Softball Club said in a statement.
‘He was the little guy on the team that everyone supported. You couldn’t help but love him,’ Rogers said.
Three members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies were also killed in the attack.
They were identified as Tamara Durand, 52, Virginia Sorenson, 79, and LeAnna Owen, 71.
‘The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies are devastated by this terrible tragedy with of loss of life and injuries in the Waukesha Christmas parade,’ the Dancing Grannies posted on Facebook.
Durand’s last Facebook post, which she made just hours before the deadly events of Sunday night, show her smiling and holding her pompoms while dressed in a winter coat and hat.
‘HERE WE GO!’ Durand wrote, adding a few Santa Claus emojis. ‘First Milwaukee Dancing Grannies parade! So excited!’
It was also the first time Durand performed with the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies.
‘She was super energetic, she was that type of person who when she walks in the room, everybody notices her smile,’ her husband, Dave, told The Daily Beast on Monday.
Brothers Tucker, 12, and Jackson, 8, Sparks, were also victims in the crash. Jackson had died on Tuesday almost two days after he had undergone brain surgery with Tucker recovering from road rash and a fractured skull
Wilhelm Hospel, 82, was the husband of one of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies marching the parade who died after suffering from internal bleeding and injuries to his pelvis
‘She literally danced her way through life. She was the youngest one in the Dancing Grannies. Dancing was her favorite thing. It was her first time even with them, which is what’s so tragic, too.’
Tamara was a hospice and critical care chaplain at Waukesha Memorial. In 2009, she saved a homeless man from drowning in the Wisconsin River.
Wilhelm Hospel, 82, the husband of one of the Grannies, was also killed.
Hospel was helping the group at the parade because his wife is one of its members, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel .
Hospel’s brother, Theodore, told the New York Post that he was on a golf course in Florida when he heard that his younger brother was among those struck by the out-of-control SUV driver.
Wilhelm, who was the youngest of five brothers, died after suffering from internal bleeding and injuries to his pelvis, according to Theodore.
‘I was talking to him this summer, and he said, ‘Who do you think is going to be the first one to go,’ you know,’ Theodore said.
‘And lo and behold, the youngest one goes first.’
Theodore told the Post that he would frequently visit his younger brother and his wife, Lola, in Wisconsin. He said Wilhelm was ‘always repairing things’ in a rental property that he owned.
‘His job was never done, but he was so healthy,’ Theodore said.
‘He was not on any major medication. He was a strong person and even would help me out a lot of times because he was so strong. I cannot believe it.
‘It’s so tragic.’
Brooks was arrested by the Waukesha Police Department after the attack and was hit with five murder charges
Brooks was taken into custody after plowing his red SUV through the crowded parade. Police said they found his red Ford SUV parked neatly in a driveway five blocks from where he drove through crowds of kids and elderly dancing groups.
Police said Brooks was fleeing a domestic dispute, ruling out terrorism as a motive.
Footage shared online showed some of the dancing grannies just seconds before Brooks plowed through the crowd, as horrified pedestrians try to get out of the way.
Brooks, a wanna-be rapper, has a long criminal history dating to 1999 with more than 15 arrests in the state of Wisconsin alone for charges including possession of drugs, strangulation and suffocation, battery, illegally possessing firearms as a convicted felon and resisting arrest.
The Waukesha Police Department arrested Brooks and he was hit with five murder charges.