Seattle driver who hit BLM protester charged with vehicular homicide

Dawit Kelete was charged for the death of 24 year-old demonstrator, Summer Taylor

Protesters hold a vigil to honor Summer Taylor, who died after she was hit by a car during a recent protest, on July 5, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

Prosecutors in Kings County, Washington have charged Dawit Kelete with vehicular homicide, two counts of vehicular assault, and reckless driving. 

The man allegedly drove around support vehicles and slammed into the crowd striking two people on Saturday, July 4. 

READ MORE: Seattle detective on leave for posting ‘All Lives splatter’ after protester’s death

Summer Taylor, 24, was pronounced dead on Sunday, after a day of being in critical condition. Diaz Love remains hospitalized in serious condition. 

According to local reports, Kelete told jail personnel that he had an addiction to prescription pain medicine. A search of his car turned up tools for smoking illegal substances and a substance that appeared to be crystal meth. 

The results of testing of the substance and the man’s blood are still pending. 

Kelete is being held on $1.2 million bail. His attorney, John Henry Browne, has said that the assault was accidental. 

After striking the crowd on Saturday, Kelete continued driving. Another protester chased him for nearly a mile in another car, ultimately stopping him by pulling in front of him. He was then arrested by Washington State Troopers. 

People In Seattle Mourn After Protester Hit By Car Dies
Protesters embrace during a vigil to honor Summer Taylor, who died after she was hit by a car during a recent protest, on July 5, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

At the time of the incident, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted out a message of support of Taylor and Love saying, “Our city stands beside their friends, families, and loved ones in praying for these women and all who were there.” 

A GoFundMe page to support Taylor has been updated with the news of her passing, “We are all in complete shock, and still trying to process the loss of this incredible light.” It reads, “We ask that you respect their loved ones during this time.” 

The fundraiser has raised over $75,000. 

A GoFundMe for Diaz Love has raised $83,000 of a $100,000 goal to support her medical, legal, and social needs. 

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