A video shows a tanker semitruck Sunday evening driving through a crowd of protesters on Minneapolis’ Interstate 35 West.
The interstate was shut down at 5 p.m. (CDT), about 40 minutes before the incident occurred, CBS Minnesota affiliate WCCO reported.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) reportedly took the driver into custody after protesters removed him from the cab of the truck. The driver was taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries, WCCO reported.
BREAKING – semi truck plows through peaceful protest on I-35W.
Hearing reports of protestors being injured. Protestors pulled the driver from the truck. Driver’s condition is unknown at this time. #WCCO pic.twitter.com/x75EX82a3F
— Marielle Mohs (@MarielleMohs) May 31, 2020
Minnesota DPS Commissioner John Harrington estimated there were 5,000 to 6,000 people on I-35 when the truck ran through and stated that none of the protesters sustained serious injury, WCCO reported.
“It was one of the most dangerous things I’ve ever seen,” Harrington told WCCO.
This is 35 year old Bogdan Vechirko, the driver of the semi truck who drove into a peaceful protest Sunday evening on I35W. We are still trying to find out why he was on that bridge when it was closed down. #wcco https://t.co/Herd43VUX7
— Marielle Mohs (@MarielleMohs) June 1, 2020
The protesters on the bridge were part of a “No Bail” march that began around 4 p.m. at the U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis before moving towards I-35, according to WCCO.
Protests across the country continued into Sunday over the death of George Floyd.
The tanker displayed a Kenan Advantage Group logo, an Ohio trucking company claiming to be the “largest tank truck transporter and logistics provider, delivering fuels, chemicals and gases in the continental USA, Canada and Mexico” on their website.
The company issued a statement Sunday evening, which reportedly read in part: “Our hearts go out to all those who are grieving the events of this past week. We have been informed of an incident involving one of our independent contractors in Minneapolis, MN during recent protests. Our first and foremost concern is for the safety and security of the public, our employees and our customers.”
When police arrived, they began using a “chemical spray” on all protesters, including individuals who were attempting to transport the driver to a police car, WCCO reported.
Democratic Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz reportedly said at a press conference that same evening that the police cleared the protesters off of I-35 due to the threat of possible gas or chemical leak from the truck.
The Minnesota State Patrol and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are jointly investigating the incident as a criminal matter, WCCO reported. (RELATED: Armed Citizens Stand Guard Against Looters In Minneapolis)