Three pro-lifers were hit by a pick-up truck Friday outside an abortion clinic in Lincoln, Nebraska as they were leaving a prayer vigil, according to local police.
The Lincoln Journal-Star reports the pro-lifers were treated at the scene and then taken to the hospital; none of their injuries were life-threatening.
Police said the accident was not intentional.
Cathy Bender was one of the accident victims. Bender told the newspaper that she, her two teenage children and a group of students were leaving the annual Good Friday event outside the Planned Parenthood in Lincoln when the accident occurred.
“I saw one of the children who had been walking behind me and my children dragged beneath the front tire of the truck,” she said.
Lincoln Police said the pick-up truck driver hit the pro-lifers when he swerved to the right to miss another vehicle that had stopped in front of him. The truck driver said when he saw the pedestrians, he tried to turn left but was not able to avoid the collision in time, according to police.
It was raining and roads were slick when the accident occurred, according to the Catholic News Agency. Witnesses also said traffic was heavy.
Police said they cited the truck driver for negligent driving.
Bender said she and her children are shaken up, but they will be OK.
“My children and I will be fine,” she said. “Just bruised and sore … . They were not severely injured, just banged up a bit and thrown to the ground.”
Bender said the truck driver was very apologetic.
“The driver got out and immediately checked on me and was saying ‘I’m sorry,’” she said. “And he went to check on the other kids, too. My heart really goes out to him.”
Here’s more from the newspaper:
After the incident, many people stayed behind to pray for those injured and the driver.
“Just as they prayed for the safety of babies whose mothers consider abortion, and for the recovery of the mothers and all involved or affected in any way,” Bender said. “I hope people know we were there to pray to show love, not judgment. Lincoln Right to Life prepares beautiful prayers for this event each year, and the people who join come to pray to show concern and care, not hatred or bitterness.”
The diocese also urged people to pray.
“Please join the Diocese of Lincoln, Bishop [James] Conley, and those involved in praying for those who were injured, and for the driver of the vehicle,” the diocese said in a statement Friday. “And please join us in praying for a culture of life, an end to abortion, in union with those who were injured today.”
Local leaders estimated up to 200 people attended the annual Good Friday pro-life prayer vigil this year