UPDATE: Charlottesville driver identified, charged with murder - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Charlottesville driver identified, charged with murder

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Charlottesville, VA (UPDATE) -- An Ohio man was charged with murder after a car plowed into a crowd of demonstrators following a foiled white nationalist rally Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing a 32-year-old woman and leaving 19 others injured, police and officials said.

James Alex Fields, Jr. of Maumee Ohio faces one count of second degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and one count of hit-and-run after the incident, which sent pedestrians flying.

"It was absolutely the most horrible thing I've ever witnessed," said Brittany Caine-Conley, the lead organizer with Congregate Charlottesville. "We ran to the scene and one of my friends actually tried to hold the wounds together for the woman who has passed away."

White nationalist and other attendees clashed with those who arrived to oppose the demonstration, which began with a torch-wielding group marching through the city Friday evening and was intended to culminate in an event entitled "Unite the Right," set to begin at noon on Saturday.

However, the event, which was roundly criticized on both sides of the aisle and included calls for the actions to be deemed terrorism, was shut down by authorities early Saturday afternoon. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency in the city and police ordered the crowds to disperse.

President Trump denounced the "egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides," but drew scrutiny for not condemning the white nationalists directly.

Dramatic video taken after the demonstration was shut down shows crowds walking along a downtown Charlottesville street as several cars move slowly along the same avenue. Abruptly, a gray Dodge Challenger rams into the back of another vehicle, slamming one or more cars ahead of it amid the crowd of protesters. The driver then rapidly reverses away from the scene.

The University of Virginia Health System confirmed that 20 patients were brought to UVA Medical Center and that 19 were being "assessed and treated" in addition to the woman who died. Five of the 19 individuals were listed as being in critical condition as of 7 p.m. Saturday.

Thomas identified the victim only as a 32-year-old woman, and saying her name would not be released until her next of kin were notified.

President Donald Trump tweeted his condolences to the family of the woman Saturday evening, adding his "best regards to all of those injured."

Charlottesville has become a flashpoint for white nationalists following a City Council vote in February to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park formerly called Lee Park.

The park was renamed Emancipation Park in June.


POSTED: Saturday, August 12 7:17 p.m.

Charlottesville, VA (UPDATE) -- The driver of a car that plowed into a crowd of demonstrators in the midst of a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday was arrested after the crash left a 32-year-old woman dead and 19 others injured, police said.

White nationalist and other attendees clashed with those who arrived to oppose the demonstration, which began with a torch-wielding group marching through the city Friday evening and was intended to culminate in an event entitled "Unite the Right," set to begin at noon on Saturday.

However, the event was shut down by authorities in the early afternoon. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency in the city and police ordered the crowds to disperse.

Video taken in the afternoon after the demonstration was shut down shows crowds walking along a downtown Charlottesville street as several cars move slowly along the same avenue. Abruptly, a gray Dodge Challenger rams into the back of another vehicle, slamming one or more cars ahead of it amid the crowd of protesters. The driver then rapidly reverses away from the scene.

It was not immediately clear whether the male driver of the vehicle acted intentionally, but Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas said at a Saturday evening press conference that charges were pending and the situation was being treated "as a criminal homicide."

After McAuliffe and Charlottesville City Manager Maurice Jones each made reference to "three fatalities" during the press conference, the Charlottesville city government's Twitter account confirmed the additional deaths referred to two in a helicopter accident southwest of Charlottesville Saturday.

The University of Virginia Health System confirmed that 20 patients were brought to UVA Medical Center and that 19 were being "assessed and treated" in addition to the single death. Five of the 19 individuals were listed as being in critical condition as of 7 p.m. Saturday.

Thomas identified the victim only as a 32-year-old woman, and saying her name would not be released until her next of kin were notified.

President Donald Trump tweeted his condolences to the family of the woman Saturday evening, adding his "best regards to all of those injured."

Charlottesville has become a flashpoint for white nationalists following a City Council vote in February to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park formerly called Lee Park.

The park was renamed Emancipation Park in June.

Trump addressed the situation during remarks Saturday afternoon. He did not specifically address that a death had occurred amid the demonstrations, but denounced the "egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides."

**This is a developing story. Stay with News 18 for the latest information.**


POSTED: Saturday, August 12 2:30 p.m.

Charlottesville, VA (ABC News) -- One person is dead in Charlottesville, Virginia, after a white nationalist rally and counterprotest turned violent and were called off by police and a car plowed into a crowd of demonstrators marching down a street, causing injuries.

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer tweeted Saturday afternoon ET that "a life has been lost."

Video taken earlier in the afternoon showed crowds walking down a street as several cars move slowly along the same avenue. Abruptly, a silver or gray vehicle rams into the back of another vehicle, slamming one or more cars ahead of it amid the crowd of protesters.

The driver backs up and rapidly flees the scene, videos show.

It's unclear at this time whether or not the driver of the vehicle acted intentionally.

The day began with a gathering for an Unite the Right rally backed by white nationalist groups that was supposed to begin at noon. Clashes between white nationalists and counterprotesters just before the rally started led to a declaration of emergency in the city and to police ordering the crowds to disperse.

Charlottesville has become a flash point for both white nationalists and protesters seeking to counter them following a City Council vote in February to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park formerly called Lee Park.

The park was renamed Emancipation Park in June.

President Trump joined a chorus of figures from across the political spectrum today to speak out against the white nationalist rally that took place, saying, "We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!"

**This is a developing story. Stay with News 18 for the latest information.**

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