Car rams into crowd at violent Virginia rally: Witnesses

Car rams into crowd at violent Virginia rally: Witnesses

Virginia car
Rescue personnel help injured people after a car ran into a large group of protesters after an white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug 12, 2017. (Photo: AP/Steve Helber)

CHARLOTTESVILLE: A vehicle plowed into a crowd of people on Saturday (Aug 12) at a Virginia rally where violence had erupted between white nationalist demonstrators and counter-protesters, witnesses said, with police reporting "multiple injuries."

"Charlottesville Police and Virginia State Police are on the scene of a three vehicle accident" said the Charlottesville Police Department in a statement. "Multiple injuries are reported."

A witness told AFP a dozen people had been hurt in the collision - which he called "intentional" - saying one girl got "tore up" after the car "backed up and they hit again."

He said the dark sedan "raced down here, jumped over the speed bumps and it backed up and it hit everyone again." "There was a girl that was on the ground; she was trying to get up," he added.

An AFP journalist saw injured people on the ground and others in tears.

According to multiple witnesses, the victims were counter-protestors who had descended on Charlottesville to denounce so-called "alt-right" demonstrators, among them Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi sympathizers.

Ambulances quickly arrived at the scene in the normally tranquil university city.

The crash occurred as hundreds flooded Charlottesville either to take part in or voice condemnation for a far-right rally that quickly erupted in violence.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe had earlier declared a state of emergency.

Source: AFP/ec