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Nice attack eyewitness describes 'panic-stricken' moments after truck plowed into crowd

An American eyewitness to Thursday's deadly truck attack in Nice, France described a horrific scene of chaos.
/ Source: TODAY

An American eyewitness to Thursday's deadly truck attack in Nice described a horrific scene of chaos during a French national holiday that turned tragic.

"I remember looking up and seeing a wave of people with completely panic-stricken faces running towards me at full steam screaming at the top of their lungs, trampling baby strollers, and my first instinct was to run in that exact same direction,'' Dr. Kevin Motamedi, a Denver physician, told Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer on TODAY Friday.

"As soon as I took off, we started hearing gunshots. That made me run even faster."

The police have confirmed that 84 people are dead and dozens were injured when a truck driver plowed into a crowd of people celebrating during a fireworks display for Bastille Day in the French coastal city. The driver, a man from Nice, was ultimately stopped when he was killed by a hail of bullets from police.

An American man from Texas and his 11-year-old son are among those who were killed.

There was little doubt as to the driver's intent, according to eyewitness Bob Franken, an NBC News journalist.

"Most people who were witnesses to all this would immediately jump to the conclusion that this was not some sort of horrific accident,'' Franken said on TODAY. "They say that the driver very obviously hit the gas. It was not something that he did involuntarily.

Rescue workers stand near the bullet-riddled truck used in the attack in Nice, France.AP

"He seemed to aim, according to many, many witnesses, for the people who were walking along after the Bastille Day fireworks display."

Franken indicated that there was a large police presence on the promenade before the attack.

"As heavy as the police presence was, they weren't ready for this,'' he said.

Investigators are working Friday to determine if the man acted alone and what his motives were for the third major terror attack in France in the last two years. No terror group had claimed responsibility as of Friday morning.

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.