Just when over 5,000 protesters were marching through an interstate bridge in Minneapolis, a large truck ploughed into them. Although no protester was injured, the truck's driver sustained non-life threatening injuries and was taken to a hospital, after which he was arrested. Governor Tim Walz described the incident as "horrifying", while the Department of Public Safety's (DPS) commissioner called it "one of the most dangerous things" he had ever seen.
The incident took place when thousands of protesters were marching through the Interstate 35W Bridge that was closed for vehicles at 5:00 pm on Sunday. A large tanker truck drove through them at full speed, prompting protesters to run for safety. It was finally stopped with protesters seen climbing on top of it.
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS), the driver sustained injuries after he was pulled out of the truck. His motive was not clear. When the incident took place at around 6:00 pm, about 5,000 to 6,000 protesters were present there, the department said, NBC News reported.
The driver who was injured after being attacked by the crowd was treated at the Hennepin Healthcare and later lodged at the Hennepin County Jail. Police officers who reached the site sprayed chemicals on protesters to disperse them. An hour later, at a press conference, Walz said the protesters were dispersed due to threat of a possible gas leak, CBS Minnesota reported.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) called the driver's actions "disturbing" as he incited a crowd of peaceful demonstrators. It said the driver sustained non-life threatening injuries, was treated and later arrested. No protester was injured.
Governor Tim Walz's Statement
At a press conference, Walz described the incident as "horrifying", adding that it could have turned into a tragedy with several people killed. The incident was under investigation and he wanted the driver to be charged to the fullest extent possible, Walz said.
The tanker truck belonged to Kenan Advantage Group, an Ohio-based company. In a statement issued later on Sunday, the company said they were informed about the incident involving one of its independent contractors in Minneapolis. Its foremost concern was for the safety and security of the public, its employees and customers, the company said.