Driver of tanker truck that approached I-35W protesters identified

He works for a company in Ohio.

The alleged driver of a tanker truck that drove at speed towards a group of protesters on I-35W has been identified. The terrifying scene was captured on traffic cams, with a large group of protesters scattering to the side of the road as the tanker approached at speeds of around 30-40 mph. The driver taken into custody has been identified as Bogdan Vechirko, 35, with Hennepin County Jail releasing his image Sunday evening.

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. Vechirko however has a Minnesota address, which WCCO’s Jason DeRusha reports is in Otsego.  “Our hearts go out to all those who are grieving the events of this past week,” the company said in a statement sent to KSTP, with the company saying it will cooperate fully with the investigation.

Earlier Sunday, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said that the driver was already on I-35W when the freeway closed at 5 p.m.

That said, the incident happened around 50 minutes after the freeways closed. The Minnesota Department of Transportation closed multiple freeways in the Twin Cities with just 20 minutes notice, following the entry of protesters to I-35W. The closures were originally planned for 8 p.m.

Vechirko sustained minor injuries after he was pulled from the truck by protesters, who held him till police arrived.

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