‘Crying and Praying': North Hollywood Woman Recounts Terrifying Moments During French Truck Attack

A North Hollywood woman and her daughter celebrating Bastille Day in the popular French seaside city of Nice recalled taking cover as a truck plowed into other revelers and opened fire in an attack that left dozens dead.

Soon after the fireworks began, Melka Tinkel said she heard a barrage of gunfire.

"It was maybe 20, maybe 30 (bullets)," she recalled in a Skype interview with NBC4. "It was all very close to each other, it was all very fast."

The driver of a white truck carrying guns and explosives fired into the crowd while also using the vehicle as a weapon, zig-zagging into revelers gathered on a promenade. More than 80 people were killed, including several children.

"We saw people with blood and we realized, 'Oh, my God!'" Tinkel recalled. "We just threw ourselves on the floor."

In the hysteria and chaos, hundreds took off down the promenade. But Tinkel and her teenage daughter, along with Tinkel's sister and her baby, stayed on the ground and didn't move.

"We literally were crying and praying," Tinkel said. "I mean, we were terrified. We had no idea how close. We didn't know if it was a shooter or multiple people."

Their best hope for survival, Tinkel recalled, was staying still and keeping quiet.

"I put my hand on the baby's mouth so she wouldn't scream," said Tinkle's 17-year-old daughter, Eden. "I thought if the shooter is close, hopefully he thinks we're laying dead and not a live, so he wouldn't come and shoot us."

Tinkel and her family hid in a restaurant before making it home.

Police fatally shot the driver, French President Francois Hollande said. It is unknown if the driver had accomplices.

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