A tanker truck ploughed into thousands of justice for George Floyd protesters on a highway in Minneapolis on Sunday afternoon, eventually stopping only after the crowd desperately dashed out of its path.
The harrowing scene was caught on video from multiple angles and shows how the tanker truck barreled toward the crowd that was on the I-35W bridge.
In this photo captured during the fiasco, one would doubt if all the people made it to safety before the rig arrived. It is indeed a miracle that no serious injuries were reported.
NYTimes spoke to one of the protesters, Austin Kedrowski who said that the protesters first became aware of the tanker when it began honking from about a quarter-mile (400m) away, which it continued doing for about 15 seconds.
The protest had been peaceful and well-organized until the arrival of the tanker truck, thereafter, the crowd immediately swamped the truck, pulled the driver out and assaulted him.
The Department of Public Safety had tweeted updates about the group’s location and said its officers were working to keep the demonstrators safe, however, it was not immediately clear how the tanker truck got there when the highway was closed.
According to Commissioner John Harrington of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the tanker truck may have been on the highway before it was closed.
He said that the freeway was closed with just 20 minutes notice, following the entry of protesters to I-35W, while the tanker truck approached the crowd about 50 minutes later.
The trucker, 35-year-old Bogdan Vechirko, was lucky to survive the beating as some protesters shielded him from the marauding crowd. He is being held on a probable cause assault charge.
Vechirko is an independent contractor for Ken Advantage, a trucking company based in North Canton, Ohio.
He sustained minor injuries after he was pulled from the truck by protesters, who held him till police arrived.
Watch below video footage from traffic cameras capture the moment the tanker truck sliced through the protesters:
Below, protesters pull out the driver and start attacking him:
Police eventually arrive to rescue the trucker:
Here’s video of the police showing up and putting the suspected truck driver in a squad, while pepper spraying the crowd. pic.twitter.com/IBqN88DYvW
— Seth Kaplan (@Seth_Kaplan) May 31, 2020