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There are already over 17,000 "Comments" to this article.

MARTHA BELLISLE
Associated PressJuly 4, 2020, 10:29 AM UTC



SEATTLE (AP) — A 27-year-old man drove a car onto a closed freeway in Seattle early Saturday and barreled through a panicked crowd of protesters, critically injuring two women, officials said.

Dawit Kelete of Seattle drove the car around vehicles that were blocking Interstate 5 and sped into the crowd about 1:40 a.m., according to a police report released by the Washington State Patrol. Video taken at the scene by protesters showed people shouting “Car! Car!” before fleeing the roadway.

Summer Taylor, 24, of Seattle, was in critical condition while Diaz Love, 32, of Portland, Oregon, was upgraded to serious condition in the intensive care unit, Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg said.

Love was filming the protest in a nearly two-hour-long Facebook livestream captioned “Black Femme March takes I-5” when the video ended abruptly; with about 15 seconds left, shouts of “Car!” can be heard as the camera starts to shake before screeching tires and the sound of impact are heard.

A graphic video posted on social media showed the white Jaguar racing toward a group of protesters who are standing behind several parked cars, set up for protection. The car swerves around the other vehicles and slams into the two women, sending them flying into the air.

The driver, who was alone, fled the scene after hitting the protesters, Trooper Chase Van Cleave told The Associated Press.

One of the protesters got in 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.

Troopers arrived, and the driver was put in custody, Washington State Patrol Capt. Ron Mead said.

Kelete was described by offices as reserved and sullen when he was arrested, according to court documents. He also asked if the pedestrians were OK, the documents say.

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 hold Kelete on an investigation of vehicular assault. He faces a second court hearing on Monday at which the judge will determine if he can be released on bail, according to court documents.

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. 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 the women.

Troopers did not know whether it was a targeted attack, but impairment 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 majoring in business and commerce. His enrollment status could not be confirmed because the university was closed Saturday.

The Washington State Patrol said Sunday evening that going forward it won’t allow protesters to enter I-5 and would arrest pedestrians on the freeway.

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” zone Wednesday morning.

Protesters had shut down the interstate for 19 days in a row, Mead said at a press conference.

The State Patrol responded by closing sections of the interstate to keep drivers and protesters safe.

“In a time that requires care and flexibility, we are exercising the safest means possible to avoid injuries or worse to motorists, protesters, WSDOT personnel and our troopers by closing the roadway and separating protesters from vehicular traffic," Chief John Batiste said in a statement on June 27, responding to complaints about the road closures.

Mead 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.

“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.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said the city stands beside the friends and family of the victims.

“No one should risk their life for demanding better from our city, state and country,” Durkan said on Twitter.

Protesters were on the freeway for more than an hour
before the car drove around the blockade around 1:36 a.m., Mead said.

The state patrol tweeted out two pictures of the driver’s car with significant damage to its bumper and windshield.

Seattle police tweeted that they were assisting.

 

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I have read several stories about this and here is my take.
First off the one girl has since died.
Second. While i haven't seen anything official i have seen numerous comments that the driver was black and the two women hit were white.
They have been blocking this interstate for the past 19 days straight. Now and only after this incident have they decided they will stop these protests and arrest them when they block the interstate.
This has become a nationwide problem(blocking roads) for the past several years and for the most part little or nothing is done to stop it. It's illegal not matter what they call it or why they are doing it, it's illegal and it's time to put this to an end. The only thing gained is pissed off people along with injuries or deaths.
 

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They had me at, "California."

The state where stupidity is both sanctioned and demonstrated by the local governments.
 

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But seriously, vehicles should be on the interstate and pedestrians should not.

Wake up CHP.!
 

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Lots of comments at bottom.

They say.
"a car drove onto a closed freeway in Seattle early Saturday"
"It was also not clear where the driver entered the highway, which had been shut amid continuing protests"
"Dawit Kelete of Seattle drove the car around vehicles that were blocking I-5 and sped into the crowd about 1:40 a.m., according to a police report released by the Washington State Patrol."

Anyone seen what ramps onto I5 in Seattle were closed with?
 

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The facts are that this was a black man running over two white girls. Nothing to talk about. Move on. Can’t show black on white ( stupid white) crime doesn’t really exist.
 

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The facts are that this was a black man running over two white girls. Nothing to talk about. Move on. Can’t show black on white ( stupid white) crime doesn’t really exist.
I could care less what color anyone is/was 🤷‍♂️ ......from the article, that I agree with......"Mead 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."
 

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drove around vehicles...........hwy dept vehicles, leo vehicles or protestor vehicles?.....that alone makes a difference.

you engage in illegal activity you take your chances.
You engage in stupid stunts of blocking the interstate you take your chances.
You drive into a crowd you take your chances.
you stop at the barricade and become a sitting duck you take your chances.

you turn around and drive the wrong way to escape head-on into on-coming traffic and take your chances.....

life has suddenly become a game of chance......or is it anarchy? the police are there to prevent anarchy....and the left wants to do away with police thinking fuzzy bunnies and rainbow unicorns will win the day......

and if its anarchy.....then Darwin will prevail....the survival instincts will take over with the mob mentality and the concept of the village and the greater good will be destroyed as people foul their own nest and dance in the glow of the fire light.......without any law enforcement in sight.......
 

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Oh; the other one.
The black man who allegedly drove his Jaguar into a group of Black Lives Matter protesters on a Seattle freeway Saturday was handed a $1.2 million bail Monday.
His lawyer called it a “horrible, horrible accident.”
“There’s absolutely nothing political about this case whatsoever,” John Henry Browne said. “My client is in tears. He’s very remorseful. He feels tremendous guilt.”

Neither drugs nor alcohol were found in Kelete’s system at the time of his arrest.

After Saturday’s incident, officials said they will no longer allow protesters to walk along the freeway and will arrest any who do.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
All the idiots and morons "occupying" and blocking streets and freeways, which are dedicated to motor vehicles, have evidently forgotten - or missed - the lesson in high school Physics about Mass and the forces it can exert on smaller masses. Basic Physics, kidz!
 
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