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Peaceful protesters share reactions to frightening incident with semi on I-35W bridge

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (FOX 47) -- A semi-truck drove into a large crowd of protesters on the I-35 W bridge in Minneapolis Sunday. Thankfully no one was hurt.

Bogdan Vechirko, an independent contractor for Kenan Advantage, was driving the semi.

Monday, we spoke with two of the people on that bridge Sunday evening.

"It was terrifying," said protester Emily Stoks.

"That was probably the scariest moment of my life," said Jayce Hanson, another protester.

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"Everyone around me just got up really fast and it was just a really, really scary moment because just in that moment, the abruptness of it, I knew something was wrong," said Hanson.

"We had all just taken a knee and had quite a few minutes of silence, kneeling.," said Stoks. "It was a very peaceful protest. We all got up, had started to gather our things to keep walking, I know the announcer had just started saying something, and then all of a sudden people started scattering and pushing."

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"And then I just remember everyone being like get off the bridge," said Hanson. "You know, everyone was like we need to get off the bridge now."

"It was a mad dash to safety," said Stoks.

A scary moment for everyone who attended.

"It's very surreal," said Stoks. "It's hard to put into words."

"I'm never going to forget it," said Hanson.

The driver was arrested but no charged have been made.

The protesters say the demonstration had been planned and arrangements were made for that stretch of road to be blocked off to allow for the gathering. MnDOT did announce the road would be closed at 5 p.m. Sunday evening and blocked it off.

On Monday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said the driver got ahead of crews who were closing the freeway and became confused.

Walz and Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said Monday morning that it doesn't appear that the driver intentionally drove on the highway and tried to cause harm.

Sarah Gannon

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