UPDATE: 10pm, July 4, Summer Taylor, 24 has passed away. Summer Taylor, veterinary assistant devoted to equality and equity. If discussing the topic, they are a non-binary individual and use they/them pronouns (not she/her). Diaz Love is still in critical conditions at Harboview.
Just after 1:40, in the early morning of July 4th, a white Jaguar drove into a group of protestors occupying I-5. The freeway had been closed and secured by police, when the vehicle drove around barricades, sped up, and slammed into at least two protestors frantically trying to get out of the way.
Photo credit: Larry Subramania. https://twitter.com/LarrySubramania
The event was captured in horrifying detail by livestreamers from the bridge above I-5, and by a livestreamer who was hit by the vehicle.
The livestreamer, Diaz Love, they/them, has grown a large following for their in depth coverage of #CHOP, taking care of their loveable dogs, and for their invited coverage of the Black Femme Marches, on which they were a part of when hit. Not even a week earlier, they had captured the jeep driving through their tents at #CHOP before ramming a barricade.
It appears that the vehicle entered the wrong way up an on ramp, avoided police which had closed down I-5, swerved around support vehicles, and speeded up as it charged at protesters.
Washington State Patrol officer Ron Mead said that: “He went around a series of vehicles that were blocking I-5 and went around on the shoulder where a group of pedestrians were standing.”
Aftering hitting several people, it slowed down, before speeding off when confronted by protestors.
The driver, 27-year-old Dawit Kelete, was booked into the King County Correctional Facility at 7:24 a.m. on two counts of vehicular assault.
On scene a crowd quickly formed and responded to help provide medical aid. Fire Department Medic One responded quickly and confirmed two patients in critical condition, taken to Harboview Medical Center.
A go fund me has been started for both victims to help cover medical bills and other expenses.
The second person hit is named Summer Taylor, they/them.
4AM UPDATE: At a 4am press conference, Washington State Patrol said that impairment was not a factor. It appears the car entered the wrong way on the freeway onramp before circling around and speeding up to strike protesters. The driver is facing possible hit and run, and vehicular assault which may be upgraded as questioning continues.
If you were a part of these protests, or know of anyone a part of the event, please reach out for crisis care. If not an emergency, Crisis Text Line: Text CONNECT to 741741 This free, 24/7 support service provides access to trained crisis counselors via text message. If there is no immediate physical danger, one resource is Crisis Connections at 206-461-3222 or 1-866-427-4747, or visit http://CrisisConnections.org. “Crisis Connections can help link you to available and appropriate resources; their services lines are available 24/7, 365”
Twitter and Live Coverage of the Event:
Content Warning: Extremely Graphic. We have not embedded the livestream video of protestors being hit by the vehicle. Links are included. Be warned that they are very disturbing.
Video of Car Hitting Protestors:
Diaz Love Live Stream and After Reporting from above the scene in thread:
Vehicle Fleeing the Scene after driver refuses to get out of car
Omari Salisbury was on scene with Converge Media. He, and everyone else are obviously hugely shaken.
Fire Department responded to the scene after about 8 minutes.
Washington State Police shut I-5 down and responded to the incident treating the event as an active crime scene.
Protesters in support vehicles chased down the vehicle and boxed it against the wall until state patrol were able to arrive.
Washington State Patrol gave a brief update at 4am:
A large group of people are now at Harborview, waiting to learn more.
This page will continue to be updated as more information is available.
Primary image was taken by Larry Subramania. https://twitter.com/LarrySubramania. He captured the initial video of the car hitting the protesters, and our wishes go out to him and everyone else impacted by this tragedy.