Two protesters in Seattle were seriously injured early Saturday morning when they were hit by a car that drove onto a closed interstate.
A 24-year-old woman from Seattle was struck by the vehicle and hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, Washington State Patrol Captain Ron Mead said at a news conference. A 32-year-old woman from Bellingham was hospitalized with serious injuries and remains in stable condition.
The driver, a 27-year-old man from Seattle, was arrested and faces multiple felony charges. It’s unclear if the collision was a targeted attack, authorities said.
The interstate was closed just before midnight due to another round of protests sparked by the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
Mead said the protesters entered the interstate around 12:17 a.m. and just after 1:30 a.m. a white car drove onto the roadway and struck the two women.
A video posted on Twitter showed the car traveling down the road and driving around two vehicles before barreling toward the protesters. People are seen on the video scrambling to get out of the way but the vehicle strikes two of them.
A photo released by police showed the car with front-end damage and a cracked windshield.
“We do not know exactly where the vehicle came on but we suspect he came on the wrong way, on a ramp. He did not come through one of the closure points that we had posted,” the captain said, adding that officers do not believe driver impairment was a factor.
“We don’t know at this point of the investigation what the motive was, what the reasoning was,” Mead said.
The captain urged protesters to cease holding demonstrations on the highway.