Summer Taylor, a 24-year-old non-binary person, was struck by a car at a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest on Saturday (4 July).

They were participating in the Black Femme March against police brutality in Seattle, Wash, when the vehicle made its way onto the closed Seattle freeway and hit Summer and another protestor called Diaz Love, 32.

Summer was rushed to hospital, but succumbed to their injuries later that evening at the Harborview Medical Center.

The driver has been identified as 27-year-old Dawit Kelete, who reportedly kept driving for two miles after hitting the protestors before being stopped by authorities. He was booked into a King County Jail on vehicular assault.

Police described Dawit as “reserved” and “sullen” throughout his time in custody and revealed he took a sobriety test that proved he was not under the influence. He reportedly asked about the injured protestors.

Katelyn Hoberecht, Summer’s co-worker at the Urban Animal vet clinic, said they have “been there since Day One standing up for Black lives,” and “staying out all day and night while still working full time and taking care of animals.”

“Summer talked to me about the protests and how incredible it was to be part of something so huge,” she said.

US sensator Kamala Harris, the former Democratic presidential candidate, wrote on Twitter: “Absolutely heartbreaking. Summer Taylor was only 24-years-old, peacefully protesting for Black Lives Matter when they were struck by a car.

“Thinking of their family during this difficult time and everyone in the movement today.”

Jenny Durkan, the Mayor of Seattle, also shared her condolences, tweeting: “Early this morning two women were hit by a car and very seriously injured while peacefully protesting. Many other were almost hit and witnessed this horrific event.

“Our city stands beside their friends, families and loved ones praying for these women and all who were there. No one should risk their life for demanding better from our city, state and country.

“Washington State Patrol is leading the investigation and they have assured us they were quickly and thoroughly investigating the incident. I have offered any city resources needed.”

GoFundMe page has been set up to honour Summer’s memory.

The organiser, Becky Gilliam, called Summer an “an incredibly strong and independent spirit” and a “bright and caring person [whose] presence elicits joy and laughter in others.”

More than $71,000 has been raised so far. The end goal was $20,000.