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Protester killed on Seattle freeway was dedicated to cause

UPDATED: Sun., July 5, 2020

By Martha Bellisle </p><p>and Brady McCombs Associated Press

SEATTLE – A person killed Saturday when a man who drove his car onto a closed Seattle freeway and into a crowd protesting police brutality was remembered Sunday as someone who was dedicated to the cause.

The other person hit in the incident, meanwhile, remained in serious condition Sunday at a Seattle hospital.

The deceased, Summer Taylor, 24, spent the last six weeks “tirelessly standing up for others while working full time and supporting everyone around them,” wrote Urban Animal on Instagram, the veterinarian clinic where Taylor worked in Portland.

Taylor was “a positive force of nature” and brought joy, the post said. “Anyone that works for Urban Animal will tell you that Summer Taylor’s laugh makes any bad day better.”

Katelyn Hoberecht, who worked with Taylor at the veterinary clinics, told the Seattle Times that Taylor had been a frequent presence at protests.

“Summer has been there since day one standing up for Black lives. Staying out all day and night, while still working full time taking care of animals,” Hoberecht said. “Summer talked to me about the protests, and how incredible it was to be a part of something so huge. A part of history.”

Kamala Harris, a U.S. senator and former Democratic presidential candidate from California, was among those honoring Taylor on social media Sunday. Harris tweeted: “Absolutely heartbreaking. Summer Taylor was only 24-years-old, peacefully protesting for Black Lives Matter when they were struck by a car. Thinking of their family during this difficult time and everyone in the movement today.”

Diaz Love, 32, also of Portland, was hit when the car barreled through a panicked crowd of protesters on Interstate 5 early Saturday morning. Love remained in the intensive care unit at Harborview Medical Center, but her health is improving, spokesperson Susan Gregg said.

The driver of the car that hit them, Dawit Kelete, is in custody awaiting a court hearing on Monday at which the judge will determine if he can be released on bail, according to court documents.

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 the Washington State Patrol.

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 protesters, sending them flying into the air.

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