MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – A semi-truck driver who drove through protesters on an interstate in Minneapolis on Sunday panicked, according to state leaders.
John Harrington, the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, said the semi was on the freeway prior to barricades being put up.
“We do have some information that he saw the crowd and panicked,” Harrington said.
The man was pulled from the vehicle and was arrested following the incident.
Harrington said the driver saw a young woman on a bike fall down in front of him and he slammed on his brakes until the vehicle stopped.
Leaders said there were between 5,000 to 6,000 people on the interstate at the time.
“We don’t have any information that makes it seem like an intentional act,” Harrington said.
That was a stark difference from what was said in the moments immediately following the incident.
The freeway was set to close at 8 p.m. Sunday before it was decided to close the interstate due to protesters. That decision was made at 4:30 p.m. and the freeway was to be closed at 5 p.m. The incident occurred around 5:45 p.m.
“He did something that was really stupid,” Gov. Tim Walz said. “Lucky that he didn’t kill someone.”