Midnight I-5 crash leaves semi dangling over Colonnade Park

A late night crash on I-5 echoed across lower Capitol Hill with the sound of screeching metal as a semi truck and trailer was left dangling above Eastlake’s Colonnade Park between the northbound and southbound decks of the freeway early Thursday morning. Continue reading

Remember that f#!cking plane flying over Capitol Hill during last summer’s protest? Here’s what it was up to

In early June in the first days of Seattle’s summer of Black Lives Matter protests and the formation of CHOP, a strange, noisy, seemingly endlessly circling airplane added to the peculiar tension building on Capitol Hill.

Thanks to Seattle criminal defense attorney Nacim Bouchtia, we can now get a look at what that Cessna 206 was up to in the air above the neighborhood.

Bouchtia filed a public records request with the Washington State Patrol for video surveillance recorded by the plane this summer including its long, droning loops above Capitol Hill. Those videos have now been uploaded to Youtube here.

CHS reported on the plane and WSP’s assistance to law enforcement on the ground during early June protest activity around the East Precinct: Continue reading

I-5 arrests part of Seattle MLK Day 2021 as thousands march from Central District

Seattle’s MLK Day 2021 celebrations Monday were a reflection of the times with marchers stepping off from the Central District socially spaced and masked and a protest effort that branched off and brought traffic to a stop on I-5 generating headlines across the country.

“BLM protesters arrested, cited with blocking Seattle freeway on MLK Day,” Fox News reported, wringing its hands with concern over “the acronym for Black Lives Matter” being painted across the traffic-snarled freeway.

There were 12 people arrested and at least two cars impounded, the Washington State Patrol reported. UPDATE: None of the dozen were booked into jail, the WSP tells CHS. The King County Jail refused the bookings, according to a state trooper spokesperson. We have not yet confirmed why they were not accepted. UPDATE x2: The refusals fall under current restrictions to reduce the number of people being held at the King County Jail during the ongoing pandemic.

Thousands more marched from 23rd Ave’s Garfield High to downtown in the city’s annual showing in respect to the slain civil rights leader. Continue reading

Driver in Summer Taylor vehicular homicide case ordered released from jail as case moves slowly toward trial

The man charged with vehicular homicide after he hit and killed activist Summer Taylor on I-5 has been ordered released from jail and placed on home detention despite being held on bail of $1.2 million.

According to court records, Dawit Kelete was ordered released after a bid from his lawyers to allow the defendant to go under house arrest and electronic monitoring as he awaits trial.

Kelete pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, and reckless driving after he crashed into a Black Lives Matter protest on I-5 on July 4th, killing one demonstrator, and badly injuring another. Continue reading

‘4/5ths’ — County proposal would make big loan to help patch part of $300M financing hole in Seattle’s massive, nearly complete convention center expansion

Crews pouring the roof deck at the Summit Addition last week at the Washington State Convention Center (Image: Lease Crutcher Lewis)

The developer of the massive convention center expansion under construction downtown says the project is seeking help from the the city, the state, and the county in patching a $300 million hole in its finances from the COVID-19 crisis. Thursday, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced he will step forward first with a proposed $100 million loan for the project from cash part of the county’s $3.4 billion investment pool.

But the city, and the state will have to follow suit, apparently.

“No, this is not enough,” Matt Griffin of developer Pine Street Group said in a press conference Thursday to discuss the proposed $100 million loan.

Constantine called the loan proposal on the “4/5ths” completed Washington State Convention Center expansion project “a safe investment.” Continue reading

Driver who sped through I-5 protest killing one charged with vehicular homicide

The driver who sped onto a closed I-5 during a Seattle Black Lives Matter protest, killing one and badly injuring another when he raced through the crowd of demonstrators, will be charged with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, and reckless driving, the King County Prosecutor announced Wednesday.

Prosecutors say 27-year-old Dawit Kelete tested sober after he crashed into and killed 24-year-old Summer Taylor and sent 32-year-old Diaz Love to the hospital with serious injuries. The Seattle man remains jailed on $1.2 million bail. He is scheduled to enter a plea on the charges in two weeks.

The charges indicate prosecutors and detectives do not have evidence that Kelete targeted the protest. “Additional charges may be added or amended based on the information that may be sent to our office from the ongoing investigation,” a statement from the prosecutor’s office reads.

Prosecutors say the investigation,is being handled by the Washington State Patrol and the FBI.

CHS reported on the July 4th, 1:30 AM collision after Kelete drove onto the closed freeway in a white Jaguar and sped toward the crowd, careening into Taylor and Love, and trying to race away before being arrested after he was stopped by a car in place to protect the protestors. Continue reading

Summer Taylor remembered

Summer Taylor, right, dancing early Saturday morning on I-5 (Images: @nowah_j)

They died after dancing the Cupid Shuffle on I-5 in the middle of Seattle on a night of protest and energy with friends and loved ones.

Summer Taylor was 24.

The activist and Capitol Hill resident died Saturday as they marched and danced with the nightly Black Femme March for Black Lives Matter. As it had for weeks, the group entered the freeway and brought traffic to a stop to get their message out and make a stand. Continue reading

Driver smashes into Seattle Black Lives Matter crowd during I-5 protest — UPDATE: One dead

The moments before Saturday’s terrible collision (Image: @nowah_j)

(Image: @nocopcoop)

Two people were sent to the hospital, one with life threatening injuries, after a driver sped through a crowd of dozens of Black Lives Matter protesters blocking southbound I-5 early Saturday morning.

The driver has been taken into custody, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Just after 1:30 AM, a white sedan sped into the crowd assembled on the freeway near Yale just north of the Olive Way overpass, careening into at least two protesters in a scene captured by journalists livestreaming the demonstration. Seattle Fire reports the two victims are women in their 20s. One suffered life threatening injuries while the second suffered serious injuries but is reported in stable condition. UPDATE x2: WSP says the victims are a 24-year-old from Seattle and a 32-year-old from Bellingham. UPDATE x3: They have been identified as Summer Taylor, 24, and Diaz Love, 32. Information on how to help is below.

UPDATE 10:00 PM: According to Harborview, Taylor passed away earlier Saturday.

Continue reading

Reported jumper dies after I-5 fall from Pike overpass

(Image: WSDOT)

Washington State Patrol says a person died after reportedly leaping from the Pike overpass onto I-5 in front of the Convention Center early Tuesday morning.

Seattle Police and Seattle Fire were called to the scene near Pike and Hubbell Place just after 6 AM. A WSP spokesperson said the person fell and was struck by vehicles in the northbound lanes of I-5 and died at the scene.

WSP is still working to contact the drivers involved in the incident.

All northbound lanes but one were closed during the response. Despite lower than typical volumes due to the COVID-19 restrictions, traffic was reported backed up for about four miles during the three-hour closure.

Resources to help those in need: National suicide-prevention hotline: 800-273-8255. Local Crisis Clinic: (206) 461-3222. If you need immediate assistance, call 911.

Smokey fire near I-5 encampment scorches Boren overpass

A fire near a popular encampment area below Pike and Boren sent black smoke billowing across the neighborhood and left the I-5 overpass closed pending inspection Sunday night.

Seattle Fire units rushed to the area just before 7 PM to a report of the fire in the I-5 greenbelt area below Plymouth Pillars Park. Smoke rose from all sides of the raised streets as flames could be seen shooting from beneath the area of the overpass. Continue reading