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Driver of pickup truck runs into Flint protesters, injuring eight

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Updated at 3:00 p.m.

The driver of a burgundy pickup truck drove into a crowd of protesters in Flint Tuesday morning. Police believe it was an accident and the male driver has not been arrested.

Eight protesters were taken to the hospital with what are believed to be non-life threatening injuries.  

About 100 protesters were walking in the north bound lanes of Dort Highway on their way to a McDonald's just before 7 a.m. when a truck slammed into the crowd.

The protesters are calling for a $15 an hour minimum wage and unionization for fast food workers.

Fred Anthony III was directing cars around the group when the burgundy pick up drove up from behind.

“The truck comes flying down, just guns it from the light," Anthony said, "flies by us just standing there in the middle of the street with our signs and stops and hits like seven people.”

Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry told The Associated Press that three of those injured remain under observation in the hospital.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer was with the protesters but was not injured.  She was waiting at the McDonald's when the accident occurred.

She tweeted that she is “incredibly sad.” 

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver was among those expected to attend the rally. 
"This morning workers gathered together, with their union, to peacefully protest for a living wage,” said Weaver, adding that her “thoughts and prayers are with them.”
The Flint police chief said the rally did not have a permit.
Fast-food workers in Detroit are planning to walk off the job and join a demonstration Tuesday afternoon. Walkouts also are expected Wednesday in Milwaukee and Thursday in Chicago.

This is a developing story and will be updated as we get more information.

Vincent Duffy has been news director at Michigan Public since May 2007.