“There was just alarm,” Mr. Kedrowski said. “Everyone didn’t know where to go, they didn’t even know which direction the car was coming from until you saw this big, large orange truck just coming full speed.”
Mr. Kedrowski said several people had been injured while they fled.
As protesters pulled the driver from the truck, several people shouted for them to not hurt him and tried to create a buffer zone around the driver. Police officers soon took him into custody, and used pepper spray to force demonstrators to get off the highway bridge.
The confrontation took place on a bridge near downtown Minneapolis on Interstate 35, which had been partly closed to traffic because of the protest.
Commissioner John Harrington of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said the tanker appeared to have been on the highway before it was closed. Mr. Harrington did not immediately identify the driver and said he did not know his motive. He called it “one of the most dangerous things I’ve ever seen.”
The protest had been peaceful and well-organized. The Department of Public Safety had tweeted updates about the group’s location and said its officers were working to keep the demonstrators safe.