Two Black Lives Matter protesters left severely injured after being struck by a car in Seattle early Saturday morning have been identified.
Diaz Love, 32, and Summer Taylor, 24, remain in serious condition at Harborview Hospital after Dawit Kelete, 27, plowed into the pair on a closed off section of Interstate 5 shortly after 1am.
Love was filming the protest on Facebook Live when they were struck by the white Jaguar. Footage shows people screaming ‘Car!’ before Love’s camera starts to shake and the sound of impact is heard.
Kelete, who was alone in a white Jaguar, fled the scene after hitting the protesters, Trooper Chase Van Cleave told The Associated Press.
A GoFundMe has now been set up for Love, who is described as ‘a huge animal lover who fights for the rights of people everywhere’. Donors have already raised $10,600.
A fundraiser has also been set up for Taylor, who works at a Seattle veterinary clinic.
‘Summer is an incredibly strong and independent spirit. They are a bright and caring person who’s presence elicits joy and laughter in other,’ a description from Taylor’s GoFundMe reads.
Diaz Love, 32, (left) and Summer Taylor, 24, (right) are both in a critical condition after being struck by a car in Seattle on Friday night. The pair remain in Harborview Hospital
The two women are loaded into ambulances by first responders after they were hit by a speeding car on Interstate 5 in Seattle on Saturday
After the incident, another protesters 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.
Kelete was booked into the King County Correctional Facility at 7:24am on Saturday on two counts of vehicular assault.
Bail was denied. It was not immediately clear if Kelete had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Officials were trying to determine the motive as well as where he got onto the interstate, which had been closed by the state patrol for more than an hour before the women were hit.
Washington State Patrol Capt. Ron Mead said they suspect Kelete drove the wrong way on a ramp. Trooper Rick Johnson said the driver went through a barrier that closed the freeway before striking Love and Taylor.
The collision sent the two women flying into the air, leaving one of them with life-threatening injuries and the other with serious injuries
Emergency workers tend to an injured person on the ground after a driver sped through a protest-related closure on the Interstate 5 freeway in Seattle
Police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances rushed to the scene in the aftermath of the collision on Interstate 5 in Seattle on Saturday
Articles of clothing and other items are seen strewn on Interstate 5 in Seattle after the collision early on Saturday morning
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.
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.
Mead said at the press conference that protesters had shut down the interstate for 19 days in a row.
He emphasized that the freeway is ‘simply not a safe place’ for pedestrians, and said he hoped protesters would cease what he termed ‘unlawful behavior’ in blocking the interstate.
Washington State Patrol released two images (one of them seen above) of the white Jaguar. The image shows damage to the front of the vehicle
‘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.
Protesters were on the freeway for more than an hour before the car drove around the blockade around 1.36am, Mead said.
The state patrol tweeted out two pictures of the driver’s car, a white Jaguar with significant damage to its bumper and windshield.
Seattle police tweeted that they were assisting the State Patrol with the scene, as southbound lanes of the freeway remained closed for investigation.
The image above shows the aftermath of the collision on Interstate 5 in Seattle as Washington State Troopers investigate
Several police cars were at the scene and troopers began gathering evidence after the collision early on Saturday morning
Washington State Patrol officers investigate the scene after the collision in Seattle early on Saturday morning