Summer Taylor died in the hospital after sustaining life-threatening injuries in the incident that took place around 1:40 a.m. local time on Interstate 5 in the city’s downtown area, according to a police report obtained by The Associated Press.
Diaz Love, a 32-year-old from Portland, Oregon, was also hit and rushed to the hospital where they are being treated for serious injuries in the intensive-care unit at Harborview Medical Center.
Police said the driver, a 27-year-old Seattle man, was arrested at the scene of the accident and faces multiple felony charges. At this time, investigators do not know if the suspect intended to hit the protestors.
“At the very least, [the man] is looking at vehicle assault charges, felony hit-and-run, but those could be upgraded depending on the progress of the investigation,” Captain Ron Mead said at a press conference, according to a local ABC affiliate. “We don’t know if it’s a targeted attack, but that remains the focus of our investigation,”
Graphic video of the incident shows the two individuals being struck by the suspect’s white Jaguar at high speed after he entered I-5 by swerving his car around vehicles positioned as a barrier to protect protesters.
The driver, who was alone, fled the scene after hitting the the victims. However, one of the protesters got in a car and chased the suspect for about a mile and was able to stop him by pulling his car in front of his until authorities arrived.
People on social media are outraged by the horrific hit-and-run, with many taking to Twitter to pay their respects for Taylor, who was described by a coworker as “the most ecstatic human being I have ever met,” per the Seattle Times.
Senator Kamala Harris also paid tribute to Taylor, calling the incident “absolutely heartbreaking.”
“Summer Taylor was only 24-years-old, peacefully protesting for Black Lives Matter when they were struck by a car,” she tweeted. “Thinking of their family during this difficult time and everyone in the movement today.”
Our thoughts are with both Love and Taylor’s friends and family during this tragic time.