24-year-old protester in Seattle has died after a car drove onto a closed freeway and plowed into two people who were among demonstrators protesting against police brutality.
Summer Taylor, of Seattle, died on Saturday evening at Harborview Medical Center, spokesperson Susan Gregg said, according to the Associated Press. Taylor and 32-year-old Diaz Love, of Portland, Oregon, had been struck by the vehicle that drove through a panicked crowd of protesters on Interstate 5 early Saturday morning.
Love remains in a serious condition in the intensive care unit, Gregg said. The hospital has been contacted for additional comment. A GoFundMe page set up for Taylor by friends on Saturday described them as a “bright and caring person.”
“On July 4th, Summer Taylor was participating in a peaceful protest for BLM in Seattle and was severely injured when a car drove into the crowd and struck them. They were rushed to Harborview Hospital and then to the ICU,” a post on the page said.
“Summer is an incredibly strong and independent spirit. They are a bright and caring person who’s presence elicits joy and laughter in others. Summer works at a veterinary clinic and takes pride in their community & supporting others.”
Love had been live-streaming the protest on Facebook when she was struck by the vehicle. The lengthy video—titled “Black Femme March takes I-5″—ended abruptly after protesters shout “Car! Car!” just before the sound of screeching tires and a loud crash is heard.
Omari Salisbury, a citizen journalist based in Seattle, tweeted that protesters observed a five-minute silence to honor Taylor as news of their passing spread.
Dawit Kelete drove the car around vehicles that were blocking I-5 and sped into the crowd about 1:40 a.m., a police report said. He was booked into the King County Correctional Facility on two counts of vehicular assault, according to the AP, and denied bail.
Mead said authorities are not sure if the incident was a targeted attack, but said impairment wasn’t being considered a factor. He also said that protesters had shut down the interstate for 19 days in a row and that it was not a safe place for pedestrians.
In a tweet late Saturday, the Washington State Patrol said protesters would not be allowed to enter the interstate. “For the safety of all citizens including protesters and motorists, pedestrians walking on the freeway will be arrested,” the tweet added. The state patrol shared pictures of the driver’s vehicle, a white Jaguar, on Twitter, showing damage to the windscreen and bumper.
Seattle has seen ongoing unrest since George Floyd, a Black man, was killed in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.
Earlier this week, authorities cleared the “Capitol Hill Organized Protest” (CHOP), a several block stretch in the Capitol Hill neighborhood that protesters took over after police abandoned it.