Sisters injured in car attack file $3 million suit against Fields, Kessler, white nationalists

Lawsuit alleges 'committing, conspiring and aiding and abetting acts of terrorism,' among other offenses

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The Washington sisters were in the silver car that was hit from behind by the Dodge Challenger. 

Tim Dodson | Cavalier Daily

Two sisters injured in Saturday’s car attack that killed one woman and injured 19 others in downtown Charlottesville are suing the alleged driver, “Unite the Right” rally organizer Jason Kessler and 28 other defendants.

The $3 million lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Charlottesville Circuit Court by Tadrint and Micah Washington, who were hurt when a Dodge Challenger hit the back of Tadrint Washington’s Toyota Camry.

The collision caused the Washingtons’ car to propel forward and hit other people, many of whom were protesting the “Unite the Right” rally, which drew hundreds of people associated with the white nationalist “alt-right” to the city. The suit claims the crash caused both plaintiffs “to slam into the dashboard and windshield leaving them with serious injuries to their head and extremities.”

In their suit, the Washingtons say their car “was covered in blood and numerous victims of the attack were laying beside the vehicle as first responders were providing treatment and attempting to resuscitate Heather Heyer, a victim that was killed in the attack.”

The suit notes the Washingtons were “not counterprotesters and did not attend any of the events relating to the rally or protest.” Instead, they say they were driving to their home and had to take a detour on 4th Street due to road closures near the Downtown Mall.

The incident occurred around 1:42 p.m. Saturday near the intersection of 4th Street and Water Street.

Police have since arrested 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio and charged him with second-degree murder. He also faces three counts of malicious wounding and one count of hit-and-run.

The Justice Department has also launched a civil rights investigation into the attack.

The suit names Fields, Kessler, and 28 others — including white nationalist and University alum Richard Spencer, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and The Daily Stormer, a Neo-Nazi website — as defendants.

Fields (far left), Kessler (center left), Spencer (center right), Duke (far right) 

The suit accuses Fields of assault and battery, as well as negligence. It also specifically accuses Kessler of negligence. The allegations against all defendants include civil conspiracy, “committing, conspiring and aiding and abetting acts of terrorism” and incitement to riot and disorderly conduct.

The suit asks for a jury trial.

Kessler, who is a pro-white activist, previously denounced the car incident in a video Saturday evening, saying “Whoever did the thing with the car, that was really really stupid and I completely disavow it.”

Kessler attempted to hold a press conference Sunday, but was met with an angry crowd of demonstrators, many of whom blamed Kessler for the violence. He was punched in the face before eventually being escorted away from the downtown area.

A memorial to Heyer has since been created at the location of the crash and was the site of a vigil attended by hundreds of community members on Sunday.

The full list of defendants include: James Alex Fields Jr., Jason Kessler, Richard Spencer, Mike Peinovich, Michael Hill, Matthew Heimbach, Traditionalist Worker Party, the League of the South, Vanguard America, the National Socialist Movement (NSM), The Nationalist Front, the National Policy Institute, the Proud Boys, David Duke, Council of Conservative Citizens, AltRight.com, Augustus Invictus, Pax Dickinson, Christopher Cantwell, Andrew Anglin, The Daily Stormer, Identity Dixie, Identity Europa, Nathan Damigo, Red Elephants, American Renaissance, American Freedom Keepers, The Pennsylvania Light Foot Militia, John Doe 1-1000 and Jane Doe 1-1000.

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