The Sparks family: How they're doing now, 7 months after Waukesha parade tragedy

The Sparks family: How they’re doing now, 7 months after Waukesha parade tragedy

WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Just over seven months ago, the Sparks family experienced the ultimate nightmare: two children ran over at the Waukesha Christmas parade. Tucker Sparks, the older brother survived; Jackson Sparks, the younger brother, did not. Mom and dad experienced it all. So how are they doing now? CBS 58's Jessob Reisbeck talked to them about their journey. 

"It's a constant weight. It's heavy and you're carrying it around constantly. Some days you carry it around easier, and some days you just can't, you don't want to," said Sheri Sparks, Jackson and Tucker's mom.

The unimaginable burden carried by a mother after the loss of a child. 

"Honestly, it's the little things that are harder. Going to the grocery store, all the snacks that he loved, the Go-Gurts, I don't have to buy them anymore. I still go to reach for them sometimes," Sheri said. 

"It's hard to know what will trigger grief," said Aaron Sparks, Jackson and Tucker's dad. "Jackson was such a big part of our life. We feel like something's missing. It's like a big hole right now." 

Eight-year-old Jackson Sparks was the youngest of six people killed in the attack on the Waukesha Christmas Parade in November of 2021. His older brother, Tucker, suffered a fractured skull, bleeding on his brain, and road rash -- but he survived. 

"I was pretty lucky because I had a brain injury," Tucker said. "I mean I have youth on my side." 

"It's got to be hard for a 12-year-old to process that, but he does an amazing job and we're so proud of him," Aaron said. 

The pride was at an all-time high on April 14, when Tucker threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Milwaukee Brewers home opener -- a perfect strike to his dad. 

"It was really special, you know, to have your dad out there," Tucker said. 

"It was perfect," Aaron said. "It was an amazing day. The Brewers were class all the way. It was an unforgettable experience and he'll remember it his whole life. I know I will." 

An unforgettable experience that really helped the family heal. 

"It's been such a long road. It's only been seven months, but it feels like it's been forever. But it also feels like it's just been yesterday," said Aaron. It's amazing to have those moments. It's definitely a healing moment." 

One thing the Sparks family doesn't need in order to heal: the trial. They don't plan on going, and they're not focused on the man that allegedly caused the pain. 

"Our life is too short to be consumed with anger. We're going to try and make the best out of a really tough situation and we'll try to do our best," said Aaron. 

"Jackson would want us to. He'd want us to push forward. Not at home wallowing in our pity. Not that it's easy, but we're getting there," said Sheri.


Tucker walked out of the hospital three days after being ran over by the SUV, and was back playing competitive baseball and soccer in a matter of months. One of the many miracles to come out of that dark day. 

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