2 women hit by vehicle on Seattle highway closed for protests

Clay Curtis
July 5, 2020

Two women were struck by a vehicle whose driver sped through a protest-related closure on a highway in Seattle, authorities said early Saturday.

One person has life-threatening injuries and another is in serious condition after a vehicle drove through protesters walking on a closed interstate in Washington state overnight, according to Washington State Patrol.

Kelete was booked into the King County Correctional Facility on Saturday morning on two counts of vehicular assault.

Summer Taylor, 24, of Seattle, and Diaz Love, 32, of Bellingham, were in a critical condition with multiple injuries, according to Harbourview Medical Centre spokeswoman Susan Gregg. Seattle has been the scene of numerous demonstrations, some of them on interstate highways, since the May 25 killing of George Floyd on a Minneapolis street while he was in police custody, which was captured on video.

Troopers arrived and took the suspect into custody.

COVID-19 report for July 3
To date, Jefferson County has had 4,802 confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to new numbers released by ADPH Friday morning. There are 11.1 million worldwide cases of coronavirus and almost 528,000 have died from it, according to Johns Hopkins.

Video footage captured at the scene showed the driver of a white passenger auto hitting the brakes as he or she tried to drive around three vehicles that protesters had angled across I-5, blocking all three lanes.

Footage posted on Twitter showed a white auto speeding along the highway, before swerving to avoid two stationary vehicles positioned as a roadblock, then hitting the two people. Just before midnight, he had said portions of Interstate 5 were closed because of protests.

He emphasised that the motorway is "simply not a safe place" for pedestrians, and said he hoped protesters would cease what he termed "unlawful behaviour" in blocking the interstate.

Protesters were on the freeway for more than an hour before the auto drove around the blockade around 1:36 a.m., Mead said.

Seattle has seen vigorous protests for weeks amidst calls to de-fund the police and direct the funds to support communities of color.

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