Victim in deadly Olive Way hit and run identified

The victim left to die in the roadway in last month’s Olive Way hit and run has been identified.

The King County Medical Examiner says Taylor Reid died of “multiple blunt force injuries” in the Friday, May 24th incident at Olive Way and Minor just west of I-5 from Capitol Hill.

Reid was 36 and a resident of a nearby apartment building. Reid’s dog Frito survived and was reportedly being tracked down from animal control to be re-homed. Continue reading

Seattle’s I-5 lid hopes get $2M federal ‘research and planning’ boost

(Image: U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal)

(Image: Lid I-5)

Seattle’s hopes for someday lidding I-5 through downtown capping noise and pollution while re-connecting neighborhoods and creating millions in dollars of new development opportunities are getting a federal boost.

U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal representing the WA-07 district including Capitol Hill and much of the city’s central and northern neighborhoods says she has helped secure $2 million in federal funding “for the City of Seattle to continue their research and planning of a project to construct a lid over Interstate 5 (I-5) in downtown Seattle.” Continue reading

911 | I-5 falls, Seattle cold weather deaths

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt/Signal (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS 911 coverage here. Hear sirens and wondering what’s going on? Check out Twitter reports from @jseattle or join and check in with neighbors in the CHS Facebook Group.

  • I-5 fall: Emergency crews treated a man who jumped or fell onto the Olive Way exit from I-5 Saturday morning. Seattle Fire reported responding to the incident along northbound freeway lanes just before 9 AM. A spokesperson says a 56-year-old male survived the fall and was in stable condition for transport to Harborview for further care. The I-5 overpasses below Capitol Hill are regularly the scenes for mental crisis calls and medical incidents including accidental falls from people trying to cross lanes of traffic or walk along narrow walls to access areas used for camping. Earlier this month, Seattle Fire responded to a fall onto northbound I-5 below Pike where it treated a 31-year-old man who suffered serious injuries in the incident. The man was taken to Harborview in critical condition in what was reported a mental health crisis call. We do not have an update on that incident.
    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.
  • Cold weather deaths: The January cold snap that saw the lowest temperatures on Capitol Hill in 10 years was deadly. At least five people died from hypothermia in Seattle during the freezing January weekend, KUOW reports. They include this 63-year-old who died in a vehicle outside the Ballard Library. Another death was reported below I-5 on First Hill’s Seneca street where the King County Medical Examiner says Adam Elknation died outdoors of hypothermia and environmental exposure. Elknation was 37. The deaths occurred even as the city’s homelessness and shelter resources including emergency locations were mobilized to help give people warm places to stay. The health department says there were 31 emergency medical responses to cold-related incidents across the county on the January 12th weekend.
  • 14-year-old busted for car theft: SPD says it arrested a teen after tracking a stolen vehicle to Capitol Hill Sunday night:
    Shortly before 5:00 p.m., officers were notified that a stolen vehicle was tracking near the intersection of 15th Avenue South and South Lander Street. While officers were responding, dispatch advised there was a disturbance involving the vehicle, friends of the owner and multiple juvenile suspects. When officers arrived, they contacted the vehicle owner’s husband who found his wife’s stolen car and confronted the occupants. The husband told officers the driver attempted to flee the scene and crashed into another vehicle. After the crash, the husband fought with a passenger of the stolen vehicle. During the altercation, the driver of the stolen vehicle was able to drive away. Officers continued to track the stolen vehicle to a parking lot in the 300 block of East Olive Place.
    SPD says it caught up with the teen on a King County Metro bus. The juvenile was arrested for possession of a stolen motor vehicle and transported to 12th Ave’s Judge Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center.
 

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Demonstration calling for Gaza ceasefire blocks I-5 below Capitol Hill — UPDATE

Dozens marched onto the northbound lanes of I-5 and blocked the Seattle interstate below Capitol Hill for about five hours Saturday afternoon as hundreds or protesters gathered and watched from the Olive Way overpass in the latest major call in the city for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The protest and march began earlier in the day outside the Melrose Starbucks Roastery where demonstrators have continued to target the coffee giant after it surged into the debate over the Israel-Hamas war in a social media tangle with the Starbucks Workers United group working to unionize its employees. Continue reading

It is only three blocks but Pike readied for big, bike-friendly one-way change on Capitol Hill

A rendering of the plans for Pike (Image: Waterfront Seattle)

(Image: Waterfront Seattle)

The Seattle Department of Transportation says it is time to begin the transition that will change Pike and Pine between the waterfront and Capitol Hill into one-way streets.

Pike, you’ll go first.

“As early as” this Saturday — depending on weather and the construction schedule — westbound vehicle access to Pike on Capitol Hill between Terry and Bellevue will come to an end.

“This is the first step in making Pike and Pine streets one-way from 1st Ave to Bellevue Ave, Pike St one-way eastbound, and Pine St one-way westbound,” the city says. “Westbound bike travel on Pike St will remain accessible during construction until improved routing to Pine St is established.” Continue reading

Driver in I-5 collision that killed Capitol Hill Black Lives Matter demonstrator pleads guilty

Taylor

The driver in the July 2020 I-5 crash that killed a Capitol Hill Black Lives Matter protester and severely injured another demonstrator has pleaded guilty.

CHS reported here on the impending trial for Dawit Kelete, now 30, after repeated delays. Kelete’s attorney’s reached a plea agreement with King County Prosecutor in which the defendant admitted guilt to one count of vehicular homicide, a count of vehicular assault, and a count of reckless driving. The sides also reached an agreement on a sentencing recommendation for six years in prison and another year and a half probation. The sentencing is scheduled for September.

Summer Taylor died in the crash and Diaz Love was sent to the hospital with serious injuries in the collision that was captured on video and further inflamed the volatile situation in the city in the wake of the forceful clearance of the CHOP protest camp on Capitol Hill in July 2020. Continue reading

Three years later, delays continue in trial for driver in I-5 collision that killed Black Lives Matter demonstrator

(Image: @nowah_j)

Tuesday marked three years since a driver hit and killed one person while seriously injuring another during a demonstration that blocked I-5 through downtown Seattle at the height of the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests. The legal process to try the man behind the wheel that night continues after years of delays.

Summer Taylor died in the crash and Diaz Love was sent to the hospital with serious injuries in the collision that was captured on video and further inflamed the volatile situation in the city in the wake of the forceful clearance of the CHOP protest camp on Capitol Hill.

According to court records, the latest trial date for driver Dawit Kelete is set for later this month but the start has been delayed repeatedly over the past year. Kelete pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, and reckless driving in the weeks following the tragedy.

Earlier this year, it was agreed he was competent to stand trial and that a defense of diminished capacity could not be used. Though he passed a sobriety and breathalyzer test after the crash, prosecution and court records show Kelete has suffered from opioid addiction.

Meanwhile, his defense has also battled over alleged contamination of blood test work executed by the state crime lab. Continue reading

Regional Homelessness Authority says progress in sweeping encampments from along I-5 in Seattle

An I-5 camp (Image: City of Seattle)

Local officials say a program to fund removal of encampments from state property along I-5 has successfully cleared three camps in Seattle including one near the base of Capitol Hill at the Olive Way onramp to I-5.

The King County Regional Homelessness Authority announced the latest “successful encampment resolution this week under Gov. Jay Inslee’s Right of Way Safety Initiative and its $144 million in statewide funding for the removals along the busy freeway up and down the state. The KCRHA says the state has already provided $13.8 million in funds for “the first round of encampment work in King County.”

The latest clearance under the program moved 75 people “previously living unsheltered” at I-5 and Dearborn to “shelter, lodging, inpatient treatment, and housing resources,” the KCRHA said, touting its “intensive six-week” process to provide outreach and clear the camp. Continue reading

SPD investigating after man dies from injuries in Hubbell Place encampment assault

Seattle Police say they are investigating a Thursday, July 28th assault at a Hubbell Place encampment below I-5 as a homicide after the victim later died of his injuries.

According to SPD, the 32-year-old man suffered a head injury in an assault at the camp that Thursday afternoon and was transported to Harborview where he died Monday.

Police are looking for more information about the incident. Call the SPD Violent Crimes Tip Line at 206-233-5000 if you can help.

 

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In preparation for $10M overhaul, Freeway Park considered for Seattle landmarks protections

(Image: City of Seattle)

Part of the city’s connective tissue between Capitol Hill, First Hill, and downtown, and a possible first piece of a puzzle in someday capping I-5’s route through Seattle with parks, commercial development, and housing, Freeway Park could soon be an official landmark.

The Seattle Parks space’s nomination for protections of its 1970s era design and municipal brutalism will go up for consideration in front of the landmarks board Wednesday.

David Graves, a strategic advisor for the parks department, said it was time to consider the protections following its 2019 placement on the National Register of Historic Places and as the city gears up for a $10 million overhaul of the unique — and uniquely challenged — park.

Graves said the pandemic-delayed upgrades are now planned to begin early next year when the project is put out to bid in early 2023. “We will be working with the Landmarks Preservation Board to make sure all improvements are consistent with the landmarks designations,” Graves said. Continue reading