Truck drives into crowd of protesters outside McDonald’s; 9 injured
(10/02/18) - A truck plowed into a crowd of protesters, including the Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Flint mayor, outside a Flint restaurant.
It happened Tuesday just after 7 a.m. near McDonald’s at Dort Highway and Lippincott Boulevard.
The Michigan State Police says nine people were transported to area hospitals for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Police say they all were awake and talking in the ambulances.
Seven patients went to Hurley Medical Center. Dr. James Weber, an emergency room physician, said all of the patients were in good condition and likely will be released Tuesday.
ABC12 photographer Tony Zyber, who was on scene when the crash happened, said the march turned into pandemonium afterward.
Flint Mayor Karen Weaver issued a statement Tuesday morning calling it an accident. She indicated some of the protesters were crossing a street when they were hit.
"Details on the accident are still being gathered at this time," Weaver's statement says. "Mayor Weaver's thoughts and prayers are with them as we follow up."
The Associated Press reported Flint Police Chief Tim Johnson indicated investigators don't believe the crash was intentional. He said the driver "seemed pretty shaken up."
The rally was set up to protest the right for fast food workers to form unions. At the time of the incident, protesters were walking north along Dort Highway toward Lapeer Road.
A maroon truck pulled out of a driveway from the east side of Dort Highway. Once the truck struck the crowd, it hit a Consumers Energy truck.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer was in attendance at the protest. She's released the following statement on Twitter: “I was in Flint for the rally this morning and am incredibly sad that so many people were hurt.”
Consumers Energy released a statement saying their bucket truck was sideswiped in the crash. Two Consumers who employees saw the crash happen were not injured and the truck was not damaged.
Police are still investigating what caused the vehicle to hit protesters.
Dort Highway was closed for a few hours after the crash and reopened to traffic around 10 a.m.