Tuesday 19 September 2017

'I am forever proud of her' - Mother of victim who died after car rammed into anti-white nationalist protesters in Virginia

Heather Heyer died after a car rammed into a group of counter-protesters at a white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Virginia. Pic: GoFundMe
Heather Heyer died after a car rammed into a group of counter-protesters at a white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Virginia. Pic: GoFundMe

Sasha Brady

The woman who died on Saturday after a car rammed into counter-protesters at a white supremacist march in Virginia has been praised for her courage.

The 32-year-old woman died and 19 others were injured after the car rammed into a group of anti-white nationalist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

University of Virginia Medical Centre spokeswoman Angela Taylor confirmed the death, while the mayor of Charlottesville Michael Signer said via Twitter that he is "heartbroken" to announce that a "life has been lost".

A GoFundMe account was set up by friends of Ms Heyer's and raised US$76,593 of their US$50,000 fundraising goal.

"Heather Heyer was murdered while protesting against hate. We are raising money to give to her family for anything that they may need," her GoFundMe page reads.

A statement from Ms Heyer's mother on the fundraising page said: "She died doing what was right. My heart is broken, but I am forever proud of her."

Tributes have flooded the site with many people praising Ms Heyer for her courage.

"Heather, the world hasn't lost you, if anything, you've given us a voice. Your courage was not in vain. Thank you for protesting hatred and bigotry," said one.

While another added: "My heart breaks for her family. I hope this is a turning point towards reconciliation of division in our country."

Her friend Felicia Correa said Ms Heyer, who worked as a paralegal, was "murdered while protesting hate".

"She will truly be missed," she wrote on the GoFundMe page.

Witnesses said a car rammed into a crowd of people who were protesting against a rally held by white nationalists who oppose the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee by civic officials in Charlottesville.

The car’s driver, James Alex Fields Jr., was charged with second-degree murder and other counts.

Speaking today, Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer labelled the incident a “terrorist attack with a car used as a weapon”.

On Saturday, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency, saying Donald Trump's presidential campaign had ignited the flames of prejudice.

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