An unnamed driver rammed his car through a crowd of conservative protesters in Mirassol, Sao Paulo state, Brazil on Wednesday, injuring 17 people including two children under 12.

Brazil is currently experiencing waves of thousands of people convening nationwide in protest of the results of Sunday’s presidential election, in which convicted criminal Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva allegedly defeated conservative incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro to win a third term in power. Lula won by less than two percentage points in an election in which 20 percent of voters abstained from choosing a candidate, prompting many to contend that fraud occurred to tip the scales for the hardline socialist.

Many of the protesters, however, are not contesting the number of votes but arguing that, given that he was convicted and sentenced to over 20 years in prison for crimes he committed while president, Lula should not have been legally allowed on the ballot. The nation’s top court, the Supreme Federal Tribunal (STF), overturned Lula’s sentence last year to allow him to run for public office on the grounds that the first court to convict him did not have jurisdiction to do so. Lula was repeatedly found guilty on multiple appeals, however, and the STF did not in any way challenge the facts of the cases or exonerate Lula.

Protesters are also denouncing the handling of the election by the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE), the federal election authority, and its flagrant censorship of material information. The TSE banned the Bolsonaro campaign from referring to Lula as “corrupt” or a “thief” on the grounds that Lula’s sentence had been overturned. The news broadcaster Jovem Pan revealed the week before the election that the TSE had banned it from mentioning that Lula had been arrested or had any legal problems at all.

Led by conservative truckers, thousands of protesters have organized hundreds of roadblocks on nearly every major highway in Brazil demanding a “federal intervention” to stop Lula from being president. “Federal intervention” is a term in the Brazilian constitution, an act used to concentrate executive power in case of emergencies.

Bolsonaro has personally requested on multiple occasions that his supporters not block highways or roads, citing the danger of supply chain disruption or prevention of emergency vehicles from passing.

On Wednesday, one such roadblock in Mirassol, Sao Paulo, was about to conclude when a man drove his car at high speed into the crowd. According to officers from the Military Police, who were adjudicating the reopening of the road, the protest was peaceful and the truckers had already vacated, leaving a crowd that officers were still negotiating with.

“We were in negotiations with the protesters to obstruct the road completed. The negotiation was peaceful until the track was completely interrupted,” Military Transit Police Capt. Maurício Noé Cavalari told reporters, according to the G1 Globo news service. “There was no use of force, but a driver slammed into people. He only stopped when the officers approached him.”

Police have yet to identify the man by name, but confirmed that the assailant was a 29-year-old man. His 74-year-old mother was in the car with him. Multiple reports claimed the man asked protesters to pass, was told he would not be allowed, and then slammed his car into people.

Harrowing videos from the scene show the car driving at high speed into the crowd, running over some protesters and sending other bodies flying. Authorities confirmed that 17 people were injured, including a ten-year-old girl and an 11-year-old girl. Two police officers also needed hospitalization following the incident.

Warning – Graphic Images:

Videos from the scene showed protesters attempting to give first aid to one of the injured girls.

Police officers have confirmed on Thursday that no one died in the incident, though several remain hospitalized. The majority of injuries were reportedly bone fractures.

Following the attack, protesters who were not injured ran towards the car and attempted to attack the man inside, police said.

“We were worried because the protesters wanted to lynch the driver,” Military Police Col. Carlos Enrique Forner told G1.

Ultimately, the unnamed driver was unharmed. He is facing multiple charges of attempted homicide.

While no reports have surfaced of violence on the part of conservative Bolsonaro protesters at press time, the president has urged his followers not to block highways.

“I know you are upset, you are sad. You expected something else. Me, too,” Bolsonaro said in a video posted to his social media accounts on Wednesday evening. “I am as upset, as sad as you, but we have to keep our heads in place.”

“I am with you and I am sure that you are with me. The request is: highways, let’s unblock them for the good of our nation and so that we can continue struggling for democracy and freedom,” he asked.

Bolsonaro has only made two public statements since the election, both requesting an end to roadblocks. He has not mentioned Lula or directly addressed the results of the election since it occurred as of press time, nor has he either conceded or challenged the results.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

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