People hit as fast food workers protest

Flint Police said eight people were hospitalized in Flint after a truck hit a line of fast-food workers rallying for higher wages.

A maroon truck hit the victims while they crossed Dort Highway in Flint Tuesday morning.

All of them are expected to be alright.

Fast-food workers in many areas were walking off the job in protest over the right to form unions, and earn a $15 per hour minimum wage. Workers are seeking union rights for fast-food restaurants, airports, downtown businesses, hospitals, in-home care and child care. Protesters in Mid-Michigan could be seen wearing "Fight for $15" shirts.

Police don't believe the driver intended to hit the protesters, and said the street was dark and many in the group were wearing dark-colored clothing.

Democrat Gretchen Whitmer was in Flint with the protestors when it happened.

She tweeted, saying "I was in Flint for the rally this morning and am incredibly sad that so many people were hurt."

Her campaign said she was at the front of the march, and the accident was near the back of the line.

In an email to TV5, Hurley Medical Center said: Seven people who were hit by a truck were brought to Hurley Medical Center by ambulance this morning. According to Hurley Emergency Room Physician, Dr James E. Weber all patients are in good condition and most will be treated and released. Dr Weber said, “We are happy to report that none of the patients we’ve seen have any life-threatening injuries.”

After hitting the people, police said the driver swerved to avoid hitting anyone else and hit a Consumers Energy truck.

Consumers Energy released the following statement.

“Our thoughts are with all of those involved in today's incident in Flint, Michigan. Two Consumers Energy employees were witnesses to an accident in Flint this morning when another vehicle sideswiped a company bucket truck as part of a multi-vehicle incident. There were no Consumers Energy employees injured and the truck was not damaged. Consumers Energy is cooperating with public safety officials as the incident is investigated.”

Spokewoman for the City of Flint, Candice Mushatt, issued the following statement: "This morning workers gathered together, with their union, to peacefully protest for a living wage. While crossing the street an unknown number of workers were struck by a driver. Details on the accident are still being gathered at this time. Mayor Weaver's thoughts and prayers are with them as we follow up."

Weaver was in the front of the group and had no idea people behind her were hurt.

"I was surprised. I was really surprised, but the first thing you always want to do is stop and take a moment and pray that everything is OK," Weaver said.

Flint Police Chief Tim Johnson said the driver will not face criminal charges. He said the driver had no alcohol or drugs in his system and seemed really shaken up over the incident.

"Looked like he tried to dodge the citizens and he tried to get away from them and he crossed the median and hit a Consumers Energy truck from the side," Johnson said.

As for Weaver, she is just glad it appears everyone is going to be OK.

"I do want to thank Chief Johnson. I want to thank Deputy Chief Bernritter. And I also want to thank Detective Booth and the entire Flint Police Department for their quick response to what happened today," Johnson said.

Northbound and southbound M-54 (Dort Highway) was closed between Lippincott and Lapeer Roads due to the incident. It has since re-opened.

TURN Michigan BLUE Water Warriors Word on the Street - Flint captured video of the incident.

Click here to see video from the scene

Copyright 2018 WNEM (Meredith Corporation)/Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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