An Icelandic woman, living in Nice, had been asked by a friend to attend the fireworks show on Bastille Day, but she declined. The friend, who is Scottish, witnessed the deadly attack on Promenade des Anglais last night that killed at least 84 people and called Berta as the attack was taking place.
Berta Guðjónsdóttir, who is a yoga instructor in Nice, told mbl.is, “She called me in a complete state of shock while this was happening and she was trying to make it home. I didn’t understand what she was talking about. She said traffic was moving towards her.” People ran away from the truck, screaming, while the friend sought shelter on the other side.
Berta stated that her friend had been sitting in the grass on a traffic island below Hotel Negresco and first saw the truck on Promenade des Anglais. “The fireworks show was about to end when she saw this truck approaching. The area was closed to all traffic, so she couldn’t understand why it was there. She saw the police trying to tell him he couldn’t drive there. Nonetheless, he drove on slowly, but then began increasing speed.”
Berta continued, “Then he came toward the hotel and drove over people, and there were five bodies in front of her. The truck then went to the other side of the road and began zigzagging over to the bike lane and then back to the traffic island.” At that point, Berta, who lives nearby, heard sirens and realized something major was going on.
“I had to go to the store this morning, and everything appeared to be in slow motion. There were few people around and they were actually surprised the sun had come up.” One of Berta’s friends lost a sister in the attack.
“This is such a peaceful and beautiful city that you just can’t believe this,” Berta lamented.