An Athens County man was among at least 19 people injured Saturday when an Ohio man drove a car into a crowd of counter-demonstrators in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia after a nearby rally filled with white nationalists and white supremacists finished up.
Hockingport, Ohio resident Bill Burke sustained "significant head injuries" in the attack which also (as of Saturday night) killed at least one person in the crowd of anti-white supremacist demonstrators, according to Burke's wife, Annie Burke. He is conscious and has been able to communicate with Jeffers Burke, she said.
"He has sustained significant head injuries requires staples and stitches and a stay in the hospital," Annie Burke relayed on Facebook. "This is after he lay on the ground next to a woman who was also injured receiving CPR who he didn't think made it. He told me this with tears in his voice."
Maumee, Ohio resident James Alex Fields Jr., 20, has been arrested in connection with the vehicle attack, and has been charged with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and failing to stop at the scene of a crash that resulted in a death, according to news reports in the New York Times and other national media outlets.
A fundraiser page to help Bill Burke pay for medical bills has been set up, and can be found at this link.
Annie Burke said she has a message for Fields Jr.
"I would tell that person that I feel sorry for him," she said. "He is obviously a victim of his own hatred and attitude of bigotry. This person's actions are exactly the reason why my husband counter-protested. Bill Burke and I stand for peace and equality, not hatred and injustice. I would tell him that he will have to live with the knowledge that he killed innocent people, and I pity him for that. My prayers are with him and other narrow-minded individuals to have a heart-change and live a life of love towards others, not hatred."
The rally was promoted by its organizers as an event meant to “Unite the Right." It brought groups to Charlottesville such as the Ku Klux Klan, various "alt-right" and neo-Nazi groups, and movement leaders like David Duke and Richard Spencer.