The victim was identified by police as a 32-year-old woman. Charlottesville Police Department chief Al Thomas told a press conference that the woman was crossing the street as the “three-vehicle crash” occurred.
The detained driver of the car has been identified as James Alex Fields Jr., 20, according to Superintendent Martin Kumer, of the Albermarle-Charlottesville County Regional Jail, who briefed the media.
Fields Jr. faces charges of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and a failure to stop his vehicle.
University of Virginia Medical Center earlier told the New York Times it has treated 19 people for injuries and that one person is dead.
The Charlottesville mayor, Mike Signer tweeted that a life had been lost and adding that he is "furious and heartsick by the car crash that has injured many."
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
Video footage taken at the scene by RT America’s web producer Alex Rubinstein shows a damaged light-colored Toyota vehicle and a larger dark-colored SUV.
“I saw two cars that were totaled, the trunk was just completely smashed. A woman was inside crying, there was blood on the hood of her vehicle, there was blood all over the place… I saw about sixteen people injured, some of them flying through the air over the hood of the car,” Rubinstein said.
Another video posted on Facebook shows the moment the dark gray car rams into the light gray car before violently reversing.
A number of people appear to be thrown into the air with the force of the crash. The street was crowded with demonstrators at the time.
A witness told Ruptly he saw several people lying on the ground, being treated by medics.
Police have cordoned off the scene.
“Please avoid area of 4th and water streets -- multiple injuries after crash --- cpd and va. state police responding,” Charlottesville police said on Facebook.
Charlottesville City Hall tweeted authorities were responding to a "three vehicle crash” at Water and 4th Street, and that “several pedestrians” were struck and multiple injuries have been reported.
Footage taken by Brennan Gilmore, former chief of staff to gubernatorial candidate Tom Perriello, shows the vehicle speeding towards the demonstrators as people can be heard screaming.
Moments later, the same car is seen reversing rapidly away from the scene of the crash.
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
Speaking live from his Bedminster golf resort, President Donald Trump said: "We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides."
"What is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives." he added. Trump’s press conference was called for his signing of the Veteran's Affairs Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017.
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