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A car in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia, plowed through a crowd of counterprotesters marching against the “Unite the Right” alt-right and white supremacist rally that was shut down by state police earlier in the day. Virginia state police report that injuries range from minor to life-threatening, though no estimates for the number of people injured have been officially declared. Eyewitnesses have reported that more than a dozen people were hit in the collisions, and Mayor Mike Signer has indicated that a life was lost in the incident.
I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here. I urge all people of good will--go home.— Mike Signer (@MikeSigner) August 12, 2017
Multiple cars just slammed into counter-protestor march and drove off. Bodies flying. People down. WHERE THE FUCK ARE COPS NOW #defendcville— Kim Kelly (@GrimKim) August 12, 2017
I talked to one eyewitness who said the collision was "absolutely intentional". He was 10 feet away. Saw 14-16 people injured. pic.twitter.com/qYlACibGMT— Joe Heim (@JoeHeim) August 12, 2017
According to video footage streamed on Periscope and Facebook by user Rebelutionary_Z, counterprotesters marched down a street shortly before 2pm local time, walking around cars that were waiting to drive past. At the end of the line of cars, one black sedan with heavily tinted windows rammed through the crowd of protesters and into the other cars, causing a mass collision, bulldozing over dozens, and sending several protesters into the air.
The car left the scene, but police were able to find the vehicle. According to the Hill’s Taylor Lorenz, who posted a full video of the incident, the driver has been arrested, and local authorities are asking citizens to share any footage of the car.
In the meantime the police are asking private citizens with video of the car to share them with authorities. They have arrested the driver— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) August 12, 2017
Police are investigating a three car collision. One car left the scene but police now have that car. Did not know if any arrest was made.2/2— Joe Heim (@JoeHeim) August 12, 2017
Eyewitness involved in the collision say the car intentionally drove into the crowd. Video footage of the collision from the head of the counterprotest shows that the car drove toward the crowd at a high speed, then backed out and proceeded to flee the scene. However, police have not confirmed that it was intentional and are still investigating.
Video of car hitting anti-racist protestors. Let there be no confusion: this was deliberate terrorism. My prayers with victims. Stay home. pic.twitter.com/MUOZs71Pf4— Brennan Gilmore (@brennanmgilmore) August 12, 2017
Prior to the collision, one other car reportedly hit people while attempting to drive past counterprotesters, though witnesses from this collision say they were not injured.
According to the Washington Post, one person was killed and 19 were injured in the incident.
BREAKING: police statement says 35 medical dispatches, 19 injured, one fatality.— Jack Smith IV (@JackSmithIV) August 12, 2017
Next of kin is not yet notified. pic.twitter.com/VepnKHPT9I
Update 7:17am CT, Aug. 13: Local authorities have confirmed three dead following the attack, and more than 20 who were treated for injuries at the hospital.
Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.