The Washington State Patrol investigates the scene in which two people in a group of protesters were caught by a car on Interstate 5 while the road was closed to traffic due to the protest in Seattle, Washington, USA, 4 July 2020. REUTERS / Jason Redmond
(Reuters) – Two protesters were injured, one seriously, in Seattle early Saturday morning, when the women were hit by a high-speed car that passed other vehicles stopped in a crowd demonstrating on an interstate highway, he said. police.
The driver of the car, a 27-year-old Seattle man, was arrested at the scene of the incident, which occurred around 1:30 am PDT (0830 GMT), and faces multiple felony charges, the Patrol Soldier from the Washington State Chase Van Cleave said by phone.
“He was taken into custody when the soldiers arrived on the scene,” Van Cleave said by phone. “The investigation is ongoing. At this time we do not suspect that drugs or alcohol are a factor in the crash.”
Police did not identify the suspect or the victims, both women, one of whom is 30 years old and is hospitalized in serious condition. The other woman, who is in her 20s, suffered life-threatening injuries and was included in critical condition, Van Cleave said.
Investigators do not know if the driver intended to hit protesters, he said. Seattle has been the scene of numerous protests, some of them on interstate highways, since the May 25 murder of George Floyd on a Minneapolis street while in police custody, which was captured on video.
A video of the Seattle incident shared on social media shows a lone white car speeding up Interstate 5, veering to avoid a parked van to block the road, and heading toward a small group of panicked protesters who attempted to escape.
The car can be seen hitting two people near the side of the road, who were flipped onto the roof of the car before landing on the pavement.
Report by Peter Szekely in New York; editing by Diane Craft