July 6, 2020

Judge Sets Bail At $1.2M For Driver Accused Of Hitting Protesters

Judge Sets Bail At $1.2M For Driver Accused Of Hitting Protesters


SEATTLE, WA — The man accused of driving onto a closed Seattle freeway and driving into two protesters Saturday morning, fatally injuring one, appeared in court for a second time Monday afternoon.

According to the Associated Press, the stretch of Interstate 5 had closed 19 days in a row before Saturday, due to regular protests, and was blocked for more than an hour before the crash.

Prosecutors say Dawit Kelete drove a white Jaguar up the wrong direction of a ramp onto I-5, near Stewart Street, and sped southbound, passing several vehicles placed to block the freeway. A witness video showed the vehicle drive along a shoulder then make a sharp turn, hitting two pedestrians.

According to investigators, the driver fled the scene and was stopped near the Interstate 90 interchange. Troopers said the Jaguar was registered to Kelete and had visible front-end damage. Field sobriety tests did not find evidence of impairment, and a breath test returned a BAC of 0.0.

Summer Taylor, 24, died from their injuries at Harborview Medical Center on Saturday night. The second victim, Diaz Love, remains in serious condition at the hospital. Love posted an update on Facebook Sunday night.

“I cannot believe Summer was murdered,” Diaz wrote. “If they thought this murder would make us back down, they are very wrong.”

Kelete appeared in court Monday afternoon, where the judge set bail at $1.2 million, but he was not formally charged. On Saturday, a judge found probable cause for two counts of vehicular assault.

The prosecutor’s office expects to review additional investigative materials from Washington State Patrol before Wednesday’s deadline for rush-filing charges.





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