As previously reported by The Inquisitr, at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning, a group of protesters was demonstrating on a stretch of Interstate 5 in the downtown section of the city. The road had been closed off to traffic, a driver somehow breached a barrier on an on-ramp and made his way to the protest. He then allegedly barreled into the crowd.
Several videos of the incident were posted to social media in the aftermath of the video, including one which can be seen here.
“It happened so fast. By the time I actually jumped up out of the lane, that car had already entered the crowd where people had been protesting,” said a witness.
The car struck two people, seriously injuring one Diaz Love (32), and critically injuring Taylor, who died of her injuries late Saturday night.
In a crowdsourcing campaign to raise money for her, Taylor, who was still alive at the time the campaign was written, was described as “an incredibly strong and independent spirit… a bright and caring person who’s [sic] presence elicits joy and laughter in others.”
Diaz, the other woman injured in the incident, remains in intensive care at a local hospital, according to The Associated Press.
Police have arrested Dawit Kelete of Seattle in connection with the incident. Authorities say that, after allegedly striking the protesters, Kelete drove off, and a protester gave chase, following him for an unknown distance. The protester was able to force Kelete to stop, and police arrested him on the scene. He was taken to jail and could face charges of vehicular assault.
As of this writing, police are not sure how he managed to breach the barrier and get onto the section of highway where the protest was being staged.
Police have ruled out Kelete being impaired. For now, police have not determined a motive, saying only that Kelete was “reserved and sullen” when he was arrested, and that he asked if the pedestrians were OK. Police are also not prepared to call the event a deliberate attack, at the time of this writing.
Meanwhile, Washington State Patrol Captain Ron Mead is asking protesters to consider holding future protests somewhere other than the freeway.
“Whether they’re protesters, whether they’re homeless, whether they’re broken down motorists, the freeway is simply not a safe place for pedestrians and we’ve said that steadfast,” he said.