A car drove into a crowd of peaceful protesters on Seattle’s Interstate 5 (I-5) early Saturday morning and struck two female protesters, critically injuring one of them, according to police.
On Friday, the Seattle Police Department closed I-5 at 11:56 p.m. PT for peaceful protesters, Washington State Patrol Capt. Ron Mead said during a press conferenceSaturday morning. At around 1:36 a.m., a passenger car drove into the crowd and struck two people: a 24-year-old female protester from Seattle and a 32-year-old female protester from Bellingham, Wash., Mead told reporters. The 24-year-old suffered “critical and life threatening injuries” and the 32-year-old suffered serious injuries but was in stable condition, Mead said.
While police do not know how the driver entered the freeway, Mead said they suspect he drove up the wrong way onto an exit ramp and entered the southbound lane of I-5, as he did not go through any of the closure points set up police. The driver sped around a series of vehicles set up by the protesters to protect themselves and drove into the shoulder of the freeway where a group of protesters were standing, Mead said.
The suspect, a 27-year-old man from Seattle, is in police custody and facing multiple felony charges, Mead said.
The driver’s motive was unknown as of Saturday morning, according to Mead, but the investigation is still ongoing. However, police did say they do not believe the driver was impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Washington State Patrol Public Information Officer Trooper Rick Johnson tweeted a photo of the suspect’s car Saturday morning.