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Charges against trucker who barreled through protestors could be dropped

Bogdan Vechirko will have to avoid legal trouble for a year.
Bogdan Vechirko

The truck driver who barreled through a large crowd of protestors on a Minnesota highway last summer, narrowly avoiding killing anyone, has reached a case agreement with prosecutors.

Bogdan Vechirko, 35, of Otsego, had been charged with a felony and a misdemeanor for the May 31 incident. In the terrifying scene, the tanker truck Vechirko was driving spew toward a group of demonstrators on I-35W in Minneapolis. The protest, in response to George Floyd's murder, was on the highway about 50 minutes after state safety officials had shut down metro freeways in response to the ongoing civil unrest in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

During Friday morning's court date, Vechirko reached a "continuance for dismissal" agreement with prosecutors. What it means is, the case will be dismissed on June 18, 2022, if he:

  • Remains "law abiding" during that time
  • Does not commit any traffic violations related to reckless or careless driving
  • Has no contact with any victims identified or listed in police reports
  • Completes three sessions of Sentencing Circle
  • Pays restitution, if needed

Vechirko's case has seen some twists and turns. Following his initial arrest, authorities - including Gov. Tim Walz - publicly said it did not appear he intended to hurt protestors, but that he panicked. He was released June 2, 2020, pending further investigation.

But in October of 2020, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office charged him with threats of violence and criminal vehicular operation, alleging evidence showed  Vechirko "wanted to scare people out of his path." You can read details from the charges here.

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