Driver who struck Seattle protester on closed highway charged with felony vehicular homicide

A driver who struck and killing a Seattle protester with a car during a demonstration Saturday was charged Wednesday with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and reckless driving, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. 

Dawit Kelete is being held with bail set at $1.2 million and is expected to remain in jail, according to the attorney’s office. 

The crash is still being investigated by State Patrol and the FBI. The prosecuting attorney’s office said it may add or amend charges based on the investigation. 


The crash the morning of July 4 and southbound Interstate 5 in Seattle killed one person and injured another, according to officials.

A spokesperson at Harborview Medical Center told The Associated Press that Summer Taylor, 24, died after the crash. The hospital also said Diaz Love, 32, was hospitalized.

Protesters in Seattle gathered on the highway, which had been closed for the demonstration, on Friday night,  according to Washington State Patrol. Officers responded to the hit and run collision shortly after 1:30 a.m. A car drove through the group at a high speed, striking two protesters, state patrol said. 


Kelete’s lawyer, John Henry Brown, told The Associated Press his client did not intentionally hit the protesters and said the crash was a “horrible, horrible accident.” 

“There’s absolutely nothing political about this case whatsoever,” Browne told the AP. “My client is in tears. He’s very remorseful. He feels tremendous guilt.”

This report was updated on July 9 at 5:46 a.m.