At least 84 people died in the carnage and many more were injured in what French President François Hollande said was clearly a terrorist attack, with several children among the dead. France has declared three days of national mourning following the attack.
The driver was a 31-year-old Tunisian born, French-Tunisian citizen identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel. He was not on the watch list of French intelligence services, but was reportedly known to police in connection with common law crimes such as theft and violence.
The attack came eight months after the Islamist militant shootings and suicide bombings in Paris that killed 130 people. The driver of the truck was shot dead by police, with some witnesses saying they thought he was firing a gun as he drove.
Hollande had announced just hours earlier, while marking France's national day celebrating the birth of the republic, that he would lift the state of emergency that was put in place after the November killings.
Following the attack, condolences have been pouring in from wold leaders, including Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who made public his letter to French President Hollande. "It is with pain and sorrow that I must once again write and express my deepest condolences, and those of all the Israeli people, following the horrific terror attack in Nice," wrote Rivlin.
"The vile threat of terrorism is an affront to these values, and its perpetrators murder and maim indiscriminately in pursuit of their barbaric ideology of hate," added Rivlin. "Israel stands with France and the Israeli people stand with the French people, shoulder to shoulder in the face of this terrible evil, as should the whole free world. We must work united to reach the terrorists, their supporters and backers, wherever they may hide. We will never give up. As you said, we are stronger than the fanatics who seek to harm us."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also wrote Hollande wishing to express his sorrow at the attack.
"The horrific terrorist attack on Bastille Day was a clear but futile attempt to undermine the very foundations of the French Republic," wrote Netanyahu. "Israel is your close partner in the fight against Islamist terrorism. We stand ready to provide any assistance you require in our common effort to put an end to the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians."
The Palestinian Authority also issued a statement followingthe attack, saying, "We unequivicolly condemn last night's act of terror in Nice. Palestine stands in solidarity with France, sends its condolences to the victims' families and wishes those injured a quick recovery."
US President Barack Obama condemned what he said "appears to be a horrific terrorist attack."
Numbers to identify the victimsNurses had told some of those waiting that the medical team didn't have time to take records of the identities of the wounded because the priority was treatment. Instead, patients were being classified by numbers.
"As we were just starting to walk after the fireworks, I saw a truck driving into the pedestrian area," a woman at the hospital said. "At first I thought the truck didn't realize the road had been made pedestrian for the celebration. But when I saw people on the ground I started realizing it could be a terror attack." She shared that "It's very hard, it's all very traumatic."
Back in the hospital, a 29-year-old man from Milan related that he and his four friends had only learned of the celebration from their hosts, a Romanian couple living in Nice, and decided to go along at the last minute. "I saw a truck turning into the road and driving fast in our direction," he said. "Luckily I saw it in time to avoid it, but our friend got hit and fell on the ground. We fled to the beach and then found shelter in a hotel. One of our friends went back on the scene to carry our injured friend who couldn't move nor speak but was still breathing. She was then taken to hospital in an ambulance."
At the scene of the attack on the Promenade des Anglais, bodies lay covered in white sheets and witnesses could barely believe what they had seen. The bodies were still being removed as the dawn began to break.