SEATTLE - The family of a 24-year-old Summer Taylor who died protesting after police say a driver crashed into demonstrators on I-5 in the early morning hours on the 4th of July shared their grief Wednesday.
Summer’s parents said their child loved animals, held strong convictions in equity and fought for marginalized neighbors by protesting for days on end.
The Taylor family was emotional during the press conference and agreed Summer believed strongly in the power of protest.
“People tell me Summer helped change their life,” said Dalia, Summer’s mother.
Summer bright smile and colorful personality shone through the pain and grief that engulfed their family.
“I don’t think you can ever anticipate something like this happening,” said Summer’s father Matt.
During the press conference, Matt wore a fleece Summer used to wear while working at a veterinary clinic. It was a place where they channeled a deep love for animals.
The Taylors said that same compassion led Summer to join throngs of protesters fighting to ensure Black Lives Matter.
“Summer a lot of times came across as very loud and sometimes even rude,” said Summer’s brother Luke. “That was just because they were so passionate about their beliefs.”
Summer joined the Black Femme March on I-5 early Saturday morning when a man driving a white sedan careened towards the group, striking Taylor and fellow demonstrator 32-year-old Diaz Love. They both were hospitalized.
Dawit Kelete, 27, was behind the wheel during the crash according to the Washington State Patrol. His attorney said the incident was not intentional, instead a horrid accident.
Later that night Summer died at the hospital.
Summer’s family now lean on each other and believe the vibrant colors Summer brought to this world will now live on to continue the battle for justice and equity for those marginalized.
“Summer was out almost every night with the protesters,” Matt said.
The Taylor’s said Summer was enrolled in online classes and was learning to become a vet tech.
They added Summer openly shared the love in their heart and the family urged others to summon courage to do the same.