What led to Dawit Kelete Seattle motorist driving into BLM protesters along closed Interstate 5 killing Summer Taylor and critically injuring Diaz Love?
A motorist has been arrested after video captured them plowing their car through Black Lives Matters protesters during the early morning hours of Saturday, leaving two women critically injured, one of whom eventually died, less than 24 hours after being struck along a Seattle highway.
Arrested was Dawit Kelete, 27, who was apprehended shortly after fleeing from the ‘hit and run’ scene in his luxury white Jaguar. Local media identified the suspect as a black man from Seattle who studied business and commerce at Washington State University between 2011 and 2017.
Summer Taylor, 24, of Seattle was identified as the woman who was killed after mortally succumbing to injuries sustained during the incident which occurred on a closed-off section of Interstate 5 just on 1.40a.m Saturday morning.
The protester was rushed to Harborview Medical Center in a critical injury, before passing away on Saturday evening.
Seattle police said the car drove the wrong way up a ramp to enter the freeway. Video released on social media showed the car striking the two women and launching them into the air.
Dawit Kelete of Seattle drove the car around vehicles that were blocking Interstate 5 and sped into the crowd at about 1:40 a.m
— BallerAlert (@balleralert) July 4, 2020
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. As of Sunday morning, the fund had raised $45K.
A second demonstrator, Diaz Love, 32, of Portland who had also been struck, remained in a serious condition at Harborview Medical center.
Love was filming the protest on Facebook Live when Kelete sped through the crowd. Footage showed people screaming ‘Car!’ before Love’s camera starts to shake and the sound of impact is heard.
Protesters had been on the freeway for more than an hour before the car struck the two women.
Authorities have yet to determine how Kelete got onto the interstate, which had been closed by the state patrol for more than an hour before the protesters were hit.
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.
Summer Taylor, one of two demonstrators who was struck by a car while protesting in Seattle, has died. The second protester, Diaz Love, remains in serious condition. https://t.co/3fHZvSANkH
— NPR (@NPR) July 5, 2020
Kelete was booked into the King County Correctional Facility at 7:24am on Saturday on two counts of vehicular assault.
Bail was denied.
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.
Washington State Patrol said Saturday evening that it would arrest protesters who try to demonstrate on Interstate 5, hours after Saturday morning’s incident. In a social media post, the patrol said the move was to protect protesters.
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. Protesters had shut down the interstate for 19 days in a row.
Summer Taylor, a 24 year old worker at vet clinics, killed at Seattle protest when man driving the wrong way down a closed stretch of interstate struck Taylor+another person, who is in ICU. “Summer has been there since Day One standing up for Black lives.”https://t.co/RwOsiQJvHZ pic.twitter.com/xzUOHZxKh0
— Ethan Brown (@ethanbrown72) July 5, 2020