Protester dies after auto drives through closed highway in Seattle

Two women injured after driver hits protesters on closed Seattle freeway | News

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, authorities said early Saturday, July 4, 2020.

The driver was later apprehended by police, booked into King County Correctional Facility, and charged with two counts of vehicular assault.

As you can see from the video of the vehicle appearing to veer and speed up upon reaching the protesters, eyewitness on scene believed the incident to be a "purposeful attack", and not simply a terrible accident or mistake.

The suspect fled the scene but one of the protesters got into a auto, chased him down, and was able to stop the vehicle by pulling in front.

Seattle has been embroiled in unrest since the death of George Floyd in police custody in late May, with protesters, anarchists, and self-described Marxists setting up an "autonomous zone" in the Capitol Hill area.

"Blocking a freeway is a crime and no longer are we going to enable that criminal conduct to continue", said State Patrol Capt. Ron Mead, who made the decision to no longer close the interstate.

Part of the protest had been live-streamed on social media under the headline "Black Femme March takes I-5".

"The message they're trying to send is, 'You need to get out of the street and stop these protests, ' " Ari Weil, the terrorism researcher at the University of Chicago who compiled those statistics, told NPR last month.

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"My hope is the result of this tragedy, the protesters will reconsider their desire to be on the interstate because I can not guarantee their safety, plain and simple".

Summer Taylor, the protester, was fatally injured when a man drove onto the closed Interstate 5 freeway into a crowd of protesters.

Shortly before midnight Friday, State Patrol closed both directions of I-5 along downtown Seattle when it appeared protesters would enter the roadway.

"My hope is, as a result of this tragedy, protesters will reconsider their desire to be on the interstate because I can not guarantee their safety, plain and simple", Mead said. "Our city stands beside their friends, families and loved ones in praying for these women and all who were there".

"No one should risk their life for demanding better from our city, state and country", Durkan said on Twitter. The driver sped around a series of vehicles set up by the protesters to protect themselves and drove into the shoulder of the freeway where a group of protesters were standing, Mead said.

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

Seattle police tweeted that they were assisting with the scene, as southbound lanes of the freeway remained closed for investigation.

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