The helicopter pilot, Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, 48, of Midlothian, Virginia, and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, 40, of Quinton, Virginia, died at the scene of the crash in Albemarle County, the state police said in a statement included in a Twitter message sent by NBC29 of Charlottesville.
"We had folks who came here to cause mayhem and chaos and mischief that resulted in three fatalities here in the city of Charlottesville", city manager Maurice Jones said at a news conference. A auto driven by a suspected white nationalist plowed into a crowd in what many people believe was a deliberate act of terrorism against the counter demonstration.
Trump, on a working vacation at his New Jersey golf club, had meant to speak briefly at a ceremony marking the signing of bipartisan legislation to aid veterans, but he quickly found that those plans were overtaken by the escalating violence in the Virginia college town.
One eyewitness told the New York Post that the attack was definitely "intentional".
President Trump in comments this afternoon condemned what he called "hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides" clearly afraid of alienating his extremists and right wing supporters.
"You came here today to hurt people".
The President's words contrast starkly with those of Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, who angrily addressed the "white supremacists and Nazis" who came to the state for the protest, saying: "Go home ..."
Senator John McCain released a strongly worded statement that said, in part: "White supremacists and neo-Nazis are, by definition, opposed to American patriotism and the ideals that define us as a people and make our nation special". "We love our country, we love our God, we love our flag, we're proud of our country, we're proud of who we are", Trump said.
Trump has long tiptoed around the issue of white supremacy and has yet to provide a full-throttled rebuke of those who invoke his name. "Not Donald Trump. Not Barack Obama". "It has been going on for a long, long time. But we can not forget that this is also a symptom of the rhetoric the Trump Administration has supported since the Presidential Election and into the White House, promoting violence, attacking civil rights, and allowing organizations backed by bigots to thrive", the NAN statement reads. "It's been going on for a long time in our country".
Trump later tweeted: "We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for".
The White House was silent for hours except for a tweet from first lady Melania Trump: "Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let's communicate w/o hate in our hearts". "No good comes from violence", Mrs Trump said.
The controversial "Unite the Right" march was organised to protest the removal of a statue honouring Gen. Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate Army in the 19th-century American Civil War.
Earlier, police evacuated a downtown park as rally-goers and counterprotesters traded blows and hurled bottles and chemical irritants at one another, putting an end to the noon rally before it officially began.
He didn't take questions from reporters.
The incident involving the auto occurred as people were leaving the area after police deemed the demonstration unlawful; multiple bouts of violence had broken out at the rally between demonstrators and counterprotesters. He also said "there is no place for this kind of violence in America".