Police officers and civilians alike threw themselves in the path of a truck driver who drove into crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day Thursday in Nice, France.
German journalist Richard Gutjahr, 42, told Agence France-Press that he was on a balcony on the Promenade des Anglais when he saw the truck barreling through the crowd and being chased by a motorcycle.
“The motorcyclist attempted to overtake the truck and even tried to open the driver’s door, but he fell and ended up under the wheels of the truck.”
“Right afterwards I personally saw 12 dead bodies, and it was already clear there would be more,” Gutjahr added. At least 84 people were killed.
The motorcyclist wasn’t the only person who tried to stop the attacker. Several people attempted to leap onto the truck, according to eyewitness accounts. One policewoman actually managed to jump into the truck, regional president Christian Estrosi said.
Eric Ciotti, a member of the National Assembly of France, also described witnessing a person jumping into the vehicle.
“It’s at that moment that the police were able to neutralize this terrorist,” Ciotti told Europe 1 radio. “I won’t forget the look of this policewoman who intercepted the killer.”