July 23, 2024

Driver runs over two women protesters on Seattle highway

This early Saturday, July 4, 2020 photo provided by the Washington State Patrol shows the vehicle of Dawit Kelete who is suspected of driving into a protest on Interstate 5 in Seattle. (Washington State Patrol via AP)

Two women were struck by a car in the early hours Saturday while protesting on a highway in Seattle, Washington.

The incident was captured on video by a fellow protester and posted to social media, but the user has since taken the video down.

According to The Associated Press, the women, Summer Taylor of Seattle and Diaz Love of Bellingham, were demonstrating with a crowd on the Interstate 5. Diaz was live-streaming the scene on Facebook under the title: “Black Femme March takes I-5.”

READ MORE: Man drives his car into Seattle protest for George Floyd, shoots man

As seen in a video captured by a bystander, the highway had been blocked off by a vehicle barrier. At 1:40 AM, a white Jaguar went through the blockade and ran through the crowd, hitting both Taylor and Diaz and sending them airborne in the process.

A Twitter user who goes by Larry and posted the footage to the social media site says he has since taken it down “out of respect for the victims.”

Taylor, 24, and Diaz, 32, were taken to Harborview Medical Center, according to Washington State Patrol spokeswoman Susan Gregg. Both are in critical condition with multiple injuries.

READ MORE: I was on the ground for Minneapolis protests. Here’s what I saw.

The driver has been identified as 27-year-old Seattle resident Dawit Kelete. Washington State Patrol Captain Ron Mead stated that, although Kelete has not been charged as of Saturday morning, he is currently in custody.

Mead stated in a press conference that the Interstate had been shut down for 19 consecutive days by protesters. Seattle has been the site of several demonstrations since the May 25 killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.

“My hope is, as a result of this tragedy, protesters will reconsider their desire to be on the interstate because I cannot guarantee their safety, plain and simple,” Mead said.

In another Twitter post, Larry claimed that the incident was a “purposeful attack.”

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