The Washington State Patrol is investigating the scene where two people in a group of protesters were stuck in a car on Interstate 5 while the freeway was closed to traffic due to the Seattle, Washington, USA protest July 4, 2020. REUTERS / Jason Redmond
The driver of the car, a 27-year-old Seattle man, was arrested at the scene of the incident, which occurred at 1:30 PDT (0830 GMT), and faces multiple felony charges, Washington State Patrol Trooper Chase Van Cleave said by phone.
“He was taken into custody when troops arrived on the scene,” Van Cleave said by phone. “The investigation is still ongoing. At present, we do not suspect drugs or alcohol as a factor in the crash. ”
Police did not identify the suspect or the victims, both women, one of whom is in his 30s and in serious condition. The other woman, who is in her twenties, suffered life-threatening injuries and was listed in critical condition, Van Cleave said.
Investigators do not know if the driver intended to beat the protesters, he said. Seattle has been the scene of many demonstrations, some of them on interstate highways, since May 25, George Floyd killed on a Minneapolis street while in police custody, captured on video.
A video of the Seattle incident shared on social media shows a lone white car speeding down Interstate-5, swinging to avoid a van parked to block the roadway and heading toward a small group of panicky protesters trying to drive away.
The car can be seen hitting two people near the side of the roadway, which were both thrown over the roof of the car before landing on the sidewalk.
Reporting by Peter Szekely in New York; editing by Diane Craft