People threw punches, hurled water bottles and used pepper spray during the violence as riot police were deployed to try to disperse the crowds.
Thousands of people, some waving Confederate flags and displaying swastikas, took part in the protest against the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Several hours earlier, prior to the report of the auto into the crowd, Gardner also tweeted about the hatred shown had no place in our country.
"I am disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protesters have brought to our state over the past 24 hours", he said in a statement.
President Trump sounded off about the incident... saying everyone must be united and condemn all that hate stands for. Virginia State Police will be assisting local authorities, and a spokesman said the Virginia National Guard "will closely monitor the situation and will be able to rapidly respond and provide additional assistance if needed".
A Virginia State Police helicopter crashed Saturday in central Virginia, killing a pilot and passenger.
First lady Melania Trump tweeted "let's communicate w/o hate in our hearts".
Mr Signer said: 'I'm not going to make any bones about it.
The day began with a gathering for a Unite the Right rally backed by white nationalist groups that was supposed to begin at noon. "No good comes from violence", Mrs Trump said.
Virginia's governor has declared a state of emergency in response to a white nationalist rally that is expected to draw up to 6,000 people.
Saturday's rally was the latest event drawing white nationalists and right-wing activists from across the country to this Democratic-voting town - a development precipitated by the city's decision to remove symbols of its Confederate past.
In Charlottesville on Friday night, marchers chanting various white nationalist slogans carried tiki torches, known primarily for their South Pacific ambiance and for their contemporary use of keeping mosquitoes at bay.
The far-right group took to the streets in the Virginian city to complain that white history was being erased from America's identity.
A university spokesman said one person was arrested and several people were injured.
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