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Man Who Drove Semi Into I-35W Protest Released Without Charges; MnDOT Releases Traffic Footage Leading Up To Incident

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A 35-year-old Otsego man has been released from custody without charges after driving his semi-truck into a crowd of protesters on the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis over the weekend.

Bogdan Vechirko was released shortly after noon on Tuesday. Under the reason for release, authorities said "36 hours expired."

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office says the case has been deferred pending further investigation.

"Investigators are in the process of gathering additional information and answers to aid in the charging decision," the office said.

On the same day, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) released traffic video leading up to the incident after WCCO requested the data under Minnesota Government Data Practices Act.

RELATED: DPS: Preliminary Investigation Indicates I-35W Truck Incident Was Not Intentional

In the video, the semi-truck is seen driving to the left of traffic being diverted due to the protests.

"At 5:44 pm on Sunday, May 31, the driver entered 94 eastbound from the Hennepin/Lyndale on-ramp. MnDOT was in the process of closing the system and this on-ramp had not been blocked off yet," MnDOT said.

mndot semi truck incident i-35w
(credit: MnDOT)

Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington later said all preliminary investigation indicates that what at first appeared to be a potentially deliberate event may have instead been merely accidental, and "possibly a miracle" that no one was seriously injured.

Gov. Tim Walz said that the driver has told investigators he is grateful no one was hurt, and that the driver was lucky Minnesotans "showed their better angels" on that bridge Sunday.

The semi-truck drove into a crowd of thousands of protesters speaking out against the death of George Floyd. Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt or died.

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