The suspect is facing multiple criminal charges, said Captain Ron Mead of the Washington State Patrol.
A few blocks away around 1.30pm on Saturday, a car ran into a rally of protesters in the part that the WSP closed around midnight. Mead said the car was moving around a series of “support vehicles” that protesters used to block I-5 and protect themselves, and on the shoulder of the highway where the protesters stood.
“The vehicle went through the zipper and hit multiple pedestrians on the highway,” Trooper Rick Johnson said in a tweet.
Some of the protesters dispersed to avoid being hit, but “unfortunately, two were hit by the vehicle,” Mead said at a news briefing.
A 24-year-old woman from Seattle suffered life-threatening injuries. A 32-year-old woman from Bellingham, Washington, suffered severe injuries and was reported in stable condition, Mead said. Both were taken to Harborview Medical Center, according to a tweet from the Seattle Fire Department.
The suspect, a 27-year-old man from Seattle, was tested for sobriety and showed no signs of damage, but the WSP is continuing the investigation, Mead said.
Asked if it was a “targeted attack,” Mead said, “We don’t know that, that remains the focus of our investigation.”
The driver was expected to be booked at King County Jail later Saturday morning, Mead said. He is not charged.
Moderately said possible charges include vehicle assault and penalty kick.
Mead added that the highway is not a safe place for pedestrians.
“Whether they’re protesters, whether they’re homeless, whether they’re downed motorists, the highway just isn’t a safe place for pedestrians and we’ve said that unwaveringly,” he said. “My hope is the result of this tragedy. The protesters will reconsider their desire to be on the interstate because they cannot guarantee their safety, clean and simple.”