UPDATE: Driver in custody after car plows into Charlottesville marchers

Image from video posted to Twitter of silver or gray vehicle slamming into a crowd of demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Courtesy: Twitter/@brennanmgilmore)
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia (ABC News/AP) -- UPDATE: The Associated Press reports the driver of a car that plowed into a group of marchers in Charlottesville is in police custody, according to a state official.

Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran said the driver, a man, has been arrested.

Moran did not immediately provide a name of the driver.

Witnesses say a car plowed into a crowd of people who were protesting a rally, which was held by white nationalists who oppose the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee by the city of Charlottesville. Officials say one person was killed and at least 26 were treated at local hospitals.

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One person killed, 19 others injured after car plows into crowd in Charlottesville, VA, city says.

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One person is dead in Charlottesville, Virginia, after a white nationalist rally and counterprotest turned violent and were called off by police, and later 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 show 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.

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 in the early afternoon 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.

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A car plowed into a crowd of demonstrators marching down a street in Charlottesville, Virginia, today after police broke up a white nationalist rally and counterprotests earlier in the day.

Video shows 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, the video shows.

This video contains foul language and disturbing images. Viewer discretion is advised.



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President Donald Trump addressed clashing protesters in Charlottesville, Saturday, tweeting: "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!"



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The usually quiet university city of Charlottesville, Virginia, declared a state of emergency Saturday morning after a Unite the Right gathering of far-right extremists began with early, violent clashes with counterprotesters.

The state of Virginia shortly after declared the gathering unlawful and ordered both rallygoers and counterprotesters to "disperse immediately."

The Virginia State Police posted videos on Facebook of officers breaking up the Unite the Right gathering and counterprotest. Warning: The videos contain some offensive language and images.

One video shows an officer in announcing to milling crowds: "This gathering has been declared as to be an unlawful assembly; in the name of the Commonwealth, you are commanded to immediately disperse; if you do not disperse immediately you will be arrested.” Another video shows some of the crowd.

As of about 12:30 p.m., Charlottesville police reported that one person had been arrested and eight people had been treated for injuries by emergency workers.

Saturday's far-right rally and clashes came after a Friday night march by torch-bearing white nationalists on and near the University of Virginia campus, which resulted in brawls with protesters countering the event.

The Unite the Right event Saturday was supposed to begin at noon, but people both in support and opposed to the rally began gathering earlier and by 11 a.m. two people had been treated for serious but non-life-threatening injuries after an altercation at the city's Emancipation Park, according to city officials.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has placed the National Guard on standby in preparation for today's rally, an action he took even before the clashes Friday night.

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

A group opposed to the council's decision sued, and in May a judge issued a six-month injunction against the city's removing the statue while litigation proceeds.

On Friday night, hundreds of white nationalists carrying torches and chanting "white lives matter," "you will not replace us," and the Nazi-associated phrase "blood and soil" marched near a statue of Thomas Jefferson on the grounds of the University of Virginia, and were met by counterprotesters.

Police arrived on campus, declared it an unlawful assembly, and ordered the crowds to disperse. University police arrested one person who was charged with assault and disorderly conduct, a university statement Saturday said. "Several other members of the university community sustained minor injuries during the confrontation."

University President Teresa A. Sullivan, "strongly condemned the demonstration," the statement said, adding that the "intimidating and abhorrent behavior displayed by the alt-right protesters was wrong."

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer called the event "a cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance," adding that he was "beyond disgusted by this unsanctioned and despicable display of visual intimidation on a college campus."

A mass prayer service was held at St. Paul’s Memorial Church on University Avenue that was organized in response to the rally, according to The Daily Progress, a local paper.

Dr. Cornel West, a prominent leftist philosopher and political activist, spoke at the prayer service, calling the "Unite the Right" rally the “biggest gathering of a hate-driven right wing in the history of this country in the last 30 to 35 years,” the Daily Progress reported.

A similar rally in which white supremacists carried tiki torches to protest the removal of that and other statues of Confederate leaders throughout the South took place in May, but today's iteration is expected to be significantly larger--with the number of attendees exceeding 1,000.