A 27-year-old man named Dawit Kelete has been charged with vehicular homicide and reckless driving for his role in an accident that seriously injured two Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters in Seattle. He was driving at normal interstate speeds when he came across an unlit barrier of parked cars in the center of the road at 1:40 am.
Kelete swerved to avoid the makeshift barrier and then hit two protesters who were on the interstate. One of them, Summer Taylor, died at a local hospital. The other, Diaz Love, is alive and in stable condition. Taylor and Diaz are both white and Kelete is black.
Kelete, a first-generation immigrant from Eritrea, has expressed deep remorse and sorrow for the accident. His lawyer says that this incident was not at all politically motivated. It was just an accident and no more. The video of the incident shows as much.
Why Was Anyone Standing On The Road?
The accident happened at about 1:40 am on Interstate 5 in Seattle, not far from the CHAZ / CHOP autonomous zone. Protesters were on the interstate for a “Black Femme March” and were dancing to the “Cupid Shuffle” just before the car accident. The interstate was allegedly blocked off to oncoming traffic, but it’s not clear if it actually was or who set up the roadblock.
If the City of Seattle and/or Seattle Police set up the roadblock so the protesters could demonstrate on the interstate, then they did a terrible job. There was no lighting on the protesters at all. There were two cars parked perpendicular to the road on the interstate to serve as some sort of blockade, but they were unlit. If a person were driving at normal interstate speeds, there is no way they could safely stop in time to prevent an accident.
The Accident Took The Driver By Surprise
Dawit Kelete was traveling at normal interstate speeds when he came upon the “blockade” of two cars on the interstate. No extra lighting was on which is what there would normally be if any interstate obstruction was present at night. And the “protest” happened around a bend of the interstate, which gives a person even less time to react. Kelete swerved to avoid the cars and wound up crashing into protesters instead.
If Dawit were a white male, then this case would be elevated beyond the current severity to a Dylann Roof or something similar. It would be Charlottesville 2.0. It’s unfortunate that race has to be brought up in tragic situations like this, but that’s the reality of the country at this moment. Most people do not think this way all of the time, but the media and subversive groups like Black Lives Matter do.
Either way it goes, to charge the driver with vehicular manslaughter is absurd. This was clearly an accident and nothing else. He was not impaired and he instantly showed remorse and concern. The only thing they could possibly get him on his entering the interstate improperly but what would that actually be sans the accident? Maybe a simple ticket? A mere driving infraction.
The protesters should not have been on the road, period. If the City of Seattle were involved and complicit, then they should be just as complicit when litigiousness rears it’s ugly head. These protesters were totally unsafe. And it’s not just Seattle’s fault if they were involved. The people on the interstate share a large part of the blame. They put themselves in harm’s way. And this tragedy should be a lesson to all. Stay safe, stay off the road.
Driver who struck Seattle woman during protest on closed highway charged with felony vehicular homicide | TheHill
Dawit Kelete: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know | Heavy.com
Who was Summer Taylor, the 24 year old protester killed in Seattle? – The US Sun