A tanker truck drove through a Minneapolis crowd who were protesting on a closed-off highway bridge on Sunday. The hundreds in the crowd were protesting the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody earlier this week. The driver has been arrested and sustained non-life threatening injuries; no other injuries have been reported.
UPDATE: On Sunday night, the authorities identified the truck driver as Bogdan Vechirko. He was booked in Hennepin County jail, according to KSTP.
In the videos, which quickly began circulating across social media, a tanker truck can be seen driving down the 35 W bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which moments before was full of peaceful protestors. The truck continues to drive as people move out of the way to avoid being hit. When the truck finally stops, a number of people from the crowd swarm it to pull the driver from the vehicle.
The Truck Driver Was Arrested & Taken to a Hospital for Injuries, But Reports Indicate No Others Were Hurt
Per the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, which referred to the act as “very disturbing,” the truck driver was injured and taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries and is under arrest. They also reported that it did not seem as though anyone was hit by the truck.
CBS’s David Begnaud shared a clip of the scary scene on Twitter, writing “BREAKING: Tanker truck plows into crowd of demonstrators on Minneapolis highway. Protesters scrambled as truck battled toward them.” He later to his report that “the interstate had been closed down an hour prior to this happening.”
Minnesota Department of Transportation tweeted an update to road closures on Sunday stating that “Road closures will now begin at 5PM, and will be more extensive than previously planned.” The tweet included a map of the planned closures, which included I-35W. Minnesota Department of Public Safety wrote they are “working with our partners at @MnDOT to determine how the semi got onto I-35W.”
Another angle of the harrowing scene, shared on Twitter by Crystal Fleischman, shows the tanker truck blaring its horn as it drives down the center of the highway, as the protestors scream and move out of the way. Right before the truck stops, a person can be seen lying on the ground on the road ahead and the angle makes it appear as though they could have been hit by the oncoming truck as it came to a halt; however, Minnesota Department of Public Safety reported that they did not think anyone had been injured.
Protestors Chased Down the Truck & Pulled the Driver Out of It Before He Was Arrested
An Instagram live video streamed from the scene shows the truck trying to continue driving down the highway, past the crowd, as protestors chase after it. When the truck stops, one man from the protest crowd is shown climbing up onto the cab of the truck as he attempts to open the driver’s side door and gain entry into the cab.
Shade Pratt shared a video taken from within the crowd just moments after the truck pulled to a stop. As the crowd gathers around the stopped truck, some can be seen throwing objects at the truck’s windshield.
Along with his video captured at the scene, Twitter user Zachary Donald tweeted “Today I witnessed pure evil. Thousands and thousands of protestors were PEACEFULLY marching the streets to demand #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd and a gas truck came barreling through the crowd. Pray to whoever you pray to for us all.”