SEATTLE – A person killed Saturday when a man who drove his car onto a closed Seattle highway and through a crowd protesting police brutality was remembered Sunday as someone dedicated to the cause.
The other person affected by the incident, meanwhile, remained in serious condition Sunday at a Seattle hospital.
The deceased, Summer Taylor, 24, spent the past six weeks “tirelessly defending others while working full time and supporting everyone around her,” Urban Animal wrote on Instagram, the veterinary clinic where Taylor worked in Portland, Oregon.
Taylor, who according to the publication used them and their pronouns, was “a positive force of nature” and brought joy, the publication said. “Anyone who works for Urban Animal will tell you that Summer Taylor’s laughter makes any day better.”
Katelyn Hoberecht, who worked with Taylor at veterinary clinics, told the Seattle Times that Taylor had been a frequent presence at the protests.
“Summer has been there from day one defending the lives of blacks. Staying all day and all night, while still working full time caring for animals, “said Hoberecht.” Summer told me about the protests and how amazing it was to be part of something so big. A part of the story.
Kamala Harris, an American senator and former California Democratic presidential candidate, was among those who honored Taylor on social media Sunday. Harris tweeted: “Absolutely heartbreaking. Summer Taylor was only 24 years old and was peacefully protesting Black Lives Matter when they were hit by a car. Thinking of her family during this difficult time and everyone in the current movement. “
Diaz Love, 32, also from Portland, Oregon, was also hit when the car collided with a crowd of terrified protesters on Interstate 5 early Saturday morning. Díaz remained in serious condition Sunday in the intensive care unit of Harborview Medical Center, but his health is improving, said spokeswoman Susan Gregg.
The driver of the car that hit them, Dawit Kelete, is in custody awaiting a court hearing on Monday in which the judge will determine whether he can be released on bail, according to court documents.
Seattle’s Kelete drove the car around vehicles blocking I-5 and accelerated into the crowd around 1:40 am, according to a police report released by the Washington State Patrol. Video taken on the scene by protesters showed people yelling “Car! Car! “Before running off the road.
Love was filming the protest in a nearly two-hour live Facebook broadcast titled “Black Femme March Take I-5” when the video abruptly ended; With about 15 seconds left, shouts of “Car!” You can hear it when the camera starts shaking before the tires screech and the sound of impact is heard.
A graphic video posted on social media showed the white Jaguar running towards a group of protesters who are standing behind several parked cars, prepared for their protection. The car spins around the other vehicles and hits the two protesters, sending them flying through the air.
Kelete, who was alone, fled the scene after hitting protesters, Private Chase Van Cleave told The Associated Press. One of the other protesters got into a car and chased the driver for about a mile. He was able to stop him by pulling his car in front of the Jaguar, Van Cleave said.
Soldiers arrived and the driver was taken into custody, said Washington State Patrol Captain Ron Mead.
Officers described Kelete as reserved and sullen when he was arrested, according to court documents. He also asked if the pedestrians were OK, according to the documents.
Kelete was booked into the King County Correctional Facility on Saturday morning on two counts of vehicular assault. Bail was denied.
A judge found probable cause to arrest Kelete in a vehicle assault investigation.
It was not immediately clear if Kelete had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Authorities were trying to determine the motive and location of the interstate, which had been closed by the state patrol for more than an hour before protesters were attacked.
Mead said they suspect Kelete drove the wrong way on a ramp. Private Rick Johnson said the driver crossed a barrier that closed the highway.
Soldiers did not know if it was a targeted attack, but deterioration was not considered a factor, Mead said.
Kelete has a Seattle address. He is listed in public records as a student who attended Washington State University between 2011 and 2017 with a major in business and commerce. His enrollment status could not be confirmed because the university was closed over the weekend.
The Washington State Patrol said Saturday night that it will not allow protesters to enter I-5 in the future and will arrest pedestrians on the highway.
Seattle has been the site of protracted riots following George Floyd’s police murder on May 25 in Minneapolis, which sparked protests across the country. Dozens of people were arrested last week in connection with the protests as protests continue after authorities cleared the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” zone on Wednesday morning.
Protesters closed the interstate highway for 19 days straight, Mead said at a press conference.