Preparation and response to a targeted automobile ramming mass casualty (TARMAC) attack: An analysis of the 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia TARMAC attack


  • James P. Phillips, MD
  • Jeffrey S. Young, MD
  • William J. Brady, MD



TARMAC, disaster planning, emergency medicine, mass casualty incidents, pedestrians, terrorism


Targeted automobile ramming mass casualty (TARMAC) attacks have recently become a common modality for those wishing to inflict mass harm. Intentional vehicular ramming is a unique wounding mechanism and deserves special consideration. An emergency response case analysis of the 2017 TARMAC attack in Charlottesville was conducted to review preparedness and identify shortcomings at the University of Virginia Health System University Hospital. Intentional mass blunt trauma is unique to TARMAC events, and current all-hazards approach preparedness may not suffice. TARMAC attacks warrant further attention by disaster medicine specialists; with adequate data, researchers may identify injury patterns and “lessons learned” that may improve mitigation strategies, provider preparation, and overall emergency care.

Author Biographies

James P. Phillips, MD

Assistant Professor, Section Chief, Disaster and Operational Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, The George Washington University, Washington, DC; Senior Fellow, Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama

Jeffrey S. Young, MD

Professor, Department of Surgery, Emergency and General Surgery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

William J. Brady, MD

Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia


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How to Cite

Phillips, MD, J. P., J. S. Young, MD, and W. J. Brady, MD. “Preparation and Response to a Targeted Automobile Ramming Mass Casualty (TARMAC) Attack: An Analysis of the 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia TARMAC Attack”. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, vol. 14, no. 3, Aug. 2019, pp. 219-23, doi:10.5055/ajdm.2019.0333.



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