Five people were injured, including two California Highway Patrol officers, in a chain-reaction crash Thursday at an anti-vaccination protest in San Francisco, authorities said.
The crash occurred shortly before 6 p.m. at the San Francisco entrance to the Golden Gate Bridge, where there was a protest billed as a “nationwide walkout” against government-mandated vaccinations against Covid-19, California Highway Patrol spokesman Andrew Barclay said.
The two officers and a Golden Gate Bridge employee were hospitalized with injuries not believed to be life-threatening, Barclay said. Two other bridge employees who were hurt were treated at the scene and released, he said.
The incident happened in the northbound lane, which authorities had closed after protesters threatened to “take over” the road, Barclay said.
The protesters didn’t enter traffic, he said, but the lane remained blocked by a concrete barricade, police officers, patrol cars and trucks.
Aerial video captured by NBC Bay Area shows an SUV and a sweeper truck colliding directly next to the barricade. Both of the vehicles then rammed into a truck that was part of the barricade, thrusting the truck into the two officers and the three bridge employees.
The cause is under investigation, Barclay said.
The protesters were angered by mandates at the federal, state and local levels requiring employees at large businesses, schools, city agencies and elsewhere to get vaccinated or regularly tested for Covid-19.
Data published Wednesday by NBC News found that the mandates appear to be working, despite protests and lawsuits.
Vaccination data from 20 cities with mandates showed that inoculation rates among employees who were required to get the shots were 15 percentage points higher than among the general populations of their cities and counties.