The mother of a college student who was injured Saturday when a car barreled into a group of people protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, called her daughter “my hero.”
During a press conference Monday in Houston, Texas, Ericka Chaves said her 20-year-old daughter, Natalie Romero, had just finished her freshman year at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and was among many injured in the crash that killed one person.
Romero suffered a fracture in her skull, a gash on her forehead and a badly damaged lip. Although her injuries are not life-threatening and she is on the mend, Romero is still not able to talk, her mother said.
“I love you. I want you home. Don’t cry,” Chaves said she told her daughter.
Chaves said her daughter told her she was going to protest a “Unite the Right” rally, where fervent white supremacists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members were demonstrating against Charlottesville’s intentions to remove traces of its ties to the Confederacy, including a statue of Robert E. Lee at a city park. Chaves said she warned her daughter to be careful and Romero sent her Snapchats while she was there.
Hundreds of counter-protesters faced off with rally-goers Saturday afternoon, leading to street fights and violent clashes.
James Alex Fields Jr., 20, is accused of driving his car into counter-protesters, including Romero. He has been charged with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and one count related to leaving the scene. He was denied bail Monday morning as he secured an attorney, according to ABC News.
At the press conference Monday, Chavez claimed police didn’t intervene when Romero and her friends were confronted by rally-goers. The mother said she was hoping to soon learn if her daughter is well enough to be transported via medical ambulance to Houston.
Romero’s family is reaching out to government officials to help facilitate the college student’s travel back to her hometown because they do not have the funds to do so, Chavez said.
Chavez has set up a GoFundMe page for Romero to help pay hospital bills, because she said her daughter doesn’t have health insurance.
“We really will appriecate any help for the hospitals expenses,” the page states. “Thank you and God bless you.”
(H/T ABC News)