Black Lives Matter protester, 24, dies in hospital one day after a hit-and-run driver plowed into a crowd on a closed Seattle highway while a second demonstrator remains in hospital with serious injuries
- WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
- Summer Taylor, 24, died in hospital Saturday evening after being hit by a car during a protest in Seattle
- Fellow demonstrator Diaz Love, 32, was also struck by the white Jaguar and remains in a serious condition in hospital
- The pair were protesting on a closed-off section of the I-5 in Seattle
- The driver of the car, Dawit Kelete of Seattle, was later caught and arrested
- He has now been charged with two counts of vehicular assault
A Black Lives Matter protester has died in hospital, less than 24 hours after she was struck by a car which plowed into a crowd of demonstrators in Seattle.
Summer Taylor, 24, succumbed to injuries sustained during the collision, which occurred on a closed-off section of Interstate 5 shortly after 1am on Saturday.
She was rushed to Harborview Medical Center in a critical injury, before passed away on Saturday evening.
Taylor, who worked at a Seattle veterinary clinic, was described as ‘an incredibly strong and independent spirit’ in a GoFundMe account set up after the crash.
‘Summer is a bright and caring person whose presence elicits joy and laughter in others’, the account – which has raised more than $40,000 – reads.
Fellow protester, Diaz Love, 32, was also struck during the hit-and-run. Diaz remains in a serious condition at Harborview Medical center.
Love was filming the protest on Facebook Live when the white Jaguar sped through the crowd. Footage shows people screaming ‘Car!’ before Love’s camera starts to shake and the sound of impact is heard.
The driver of the Jaguar, Dawit Kelete, 27, sped off from the scene, but was later apprehended.
Officials are trying to determine the motive as well as how Kelete got onto the interstate, which had been closed by the state patrol for more than an hour before the protesters were hit.
Summer Taylor, 24, has died in hospital, less than 24 hours after she was struck by a car which plowed into a crowd of demonstrators in Seattle
Love and fellow protester, Diaz Love, are pictured being put into an ambulances by first responders after they were hit by a speeding car on Interstate 5
Diaz Love, 32, (pictured) was also struck by the white Jaguar during the hit-and-run. She remains in a serious condition at Harborview Medical center
After the incident, another protester got in a car and chased Kelete for about a mile. The protester was able to stop him by pulling his car in front of the Jaguar.
Troopers arrived and Kelete was arrested.
Kelete was booked into the King County Correctional Facility at 7:24am on Saturday on two counts of vehicular assault.
Bail was denied. It was not immediately clear if Kelete had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Washington State Patrol Capt. Ron Mead said they suspect Kelete drove the wrong way on a ramp. Trooper Rick Johnson said the driver went through a barrier that closed the freeway before striking Love and Taylor.
The collision sent the two protesters flying into the air, leaving one of them with life-threatening injuries and the other with serious injuries
Emergency workers tend to an injured person on the ground after a driver sped through a protest-related closure on the Interstate 5 freeway in Seattle
Police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances rushed to the scene in the aftermath of the collision on Interstate 5 in Seattle on Saturday
Articles of clothing and other items are seen strewn on Interstate 5 in Seattle after the collision early on Saturday morning
Troopers did not know whether it was a targeted attack, but impairment was not considered a factor.
Seattle has been the site of prolonged unrest following the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which sparked nationwide protests.
Dozens of people were arrested this past week in connection with protests as demonstrations continue after authorities cleared the ‘Capitol Hill Occupied Protest’ (CHOP) zone Wednesday morning.
Mead said at the press conference that protesters had shut down the interstate for 19 days in a row.
He emphasized that the freeway is ‘simply not a safe place’ for pedestrians, and said he hoped protesters would cease what he termed ‘unlawful behavior’ in blocking the interstate.
Washington State Patrol released two images (one of them seen above) of the white Jaguar. The image shows damage to the front of the vehicle
‘My hope is, as a result of this tragedy, protesters will reconsider their desire to be on the interstate because I cannot guarantee their safety, plain and simple,’ Mead said.
Protesters were on the freeway for more than an hour before the car drove around the blockade around 1.36am, Mead said.
The state patrol tweeted out two pictures of the driver’s car, a white Jaguar with significant damage to its bumper and windshield.
Seattle police tweeted that they were assisting the State Patrol with the scene, as southbound lanes of the freeway remained closed for investigation.
The image above shows the aftermath of the collision on Interstate 5 in Seattle as Washington State Troopers investigate
Several police cars were at the scene and troopers began gathering evidence after the collision early on Saturday morning
Washington State Patrol officers investigate the scene after the collision in Seattle early on Saturday morning
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