Seattle Protester Dies After Car Hit 07/05 09:51
One of two people hit by a man who drove his car onto a closed Seattle
freeway and into a crowd protesting police brutality has died.
SEATTLE (AP) -- One of two people hit by a man who drove his car onto a
closed Seattle freeway and into a crowd protesting police brutality has died.
Summer Taylor, 24, of Seattle died Saturday evening at Harborview Medical
Center, spokesperson Susan Gregg said.
Taylor and Diaz Love, 32, of Portland, Oregon, were hit by the car that
barreled through a panicked crowd of protesters on Interstate 5 early Saturday
morning, officials said.
Dawit Kelete of Seattle drove the car around vehicles that were blocking I-5
and sped into the crowd about 1:40 a.m., according to a police report released
by the Washington State Patrol. Video taken at the scene by protesters showed
people shouting "Car! Car!" before fleeing the roadway.
Love is in serious condition in the intensive care unit, Harborview, Gregg
Love was filming the protest in a nearly two-hour-long Facebook livestream
captioned "Black Femme March takes I-5" when the video ended abruptly; with
about 15 seconds left, shouts of "Car!" can be heard as the camera starts to
shake before screeching tires and the sound of impact are heard.
A graphic video posted on social media showed the white Jaguar racing toward
a group of protesters who are standing behind several parked cars, set up for
protection. The car swerves around the other vehicles and slams into the two
protesters, sending them flying into the air.
The driver, who was alone, fled the scene after hitting the protesters,
Trooper Chase Van Cleave told The Associated Press. One of the other protesters
got in a car and chased the driver for about a mile. He was able to stop him by
pulling his car in front of the Jaguar, Van Cleave said.
Troopers arrived, and the driver was put in custody, Washington State Patrol
Capt. Ron Mead said.
Kelete was described by officers as reserved and sullen when he was
arrested, according to court documents. He also asked if the pedestrians were
OK, the documents say.
Kelete was booked into the King County Correctional Facility on Saturday
morning on two counts of vehicular assault. Bail was denied.
A judge found probable cause to hold Kelete on an investigation of vehicular
assault. He faces a second court hearing on Monday at which the judge will
determine if he can be released on bail, according to court documents.
It was not immediately clear if Kelete had an attorney who could speak on
Officials were trying to determine the motive as well as where he got onto
the interstate, which had been closed by the state patrol for more than an hour
before the protesters were hit. 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.
Troopers did not know whether it was a targeted attack, but impairment was
not considered a factor, Mead said.
Kelete has a Seattle address. He is listed in public records as a student
who attended Washington State University between 2011 and 2017 majoring in
business and commerce. His enrollment status could not be confirmed because the
university was closed Saturday.
The Washington State Patrol said Saturday evening that going forward it
won't allow protesters to enter I-5 and would arrest pedestrians on the freeway.
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" zone Wednesday morning.
Protesters had shut down the interstate for 19 days in a row, Mead said at a