Southeast MO man in the middle of Charlottesville, VA violence
BENTON, MO (KFVS) - A Southeast Missouri man was in his truck when it was hit three times by the car that smashed into the crowd of people in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Daniel Taylor of Benton, Missouri, was with his fiancée visiting family members in Charlottesville and decided to eat out for lunch on Saturday, August 12.
"We parked right there on Water Street and Fourth Street," Taylor said.
Taylor said he felt far enough away from the protesters that formed in Downtown Charlottesville.
"It was completely safe," Taylor said. "There was nothing going on in the streets. It was quiet. You can hear the birds chirping and there was blue skies and sunshine."
After they came out of the restaurant, Taylor noticed a couple of protestors walking in the area and an increase in police presence.
Moments before they both got in their truck, Taylor said they heard shouting from several blocks away.
"We get in the truck and just started the vehicle, turn the AC on. I was looking at the Atlas map that I had on my dash and just getting the map in my head of where we needed to go back to the interstate," Taylor explained. "Then we started to hear a lot of shouting. We are parked on the right side of the street and I saw two vehicles stopped at the stop sign and that's when I felt a big loud boom and crash."
Taylor explained that's when the Dodge Challenger vehicle hit the back of the truck for the first time. Taylor then recalled that the vehicle backed up and moved forward again, hitting several people along with his truck for a second time.
"Everything was just surreal at this point," Taylor added. "I'm just thinking is everybody alright and we still have this vehicle moving. So I'm concerned what's going to happen. He reverses back and strikes a woman right here (in front of his truck), crashes into the front of the truck again."
After that Taylor said the vehicle continues to reverse back up the street and striking more people along the way.
Then, Taylor jumped out of his truck to see if he could try to help anyone who was injured. He couldn't do much as police and first responders were there in an instant.
"I went to the front of the vehicle. I saw a woman that was severely injured," Taylor explained. "Her leg was all contorted and then there was another woman in front of us that looked like she was passed away."
Taylor also mentioned that there were people under his truck which were trying to get out of harms way.
"It was your worse nightmare basically," Taylor said. "Everything was so surreal and adrenaline. All I felt was that I have to help these people. I saw all the blood. I tried a tourniquet the lady up front and several emergency crews came on the scene."
Taylor then got back in the truck and followed instructions from police as they took control of the scene.
Taylor is back in Southeast Missouri and said that he and his fiancée are still collecting themselves after what they witnessed in Charlottesville Saturday. He said he wants to try to focus on getting back to preparing for school and get his mind back on track.
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