AP FACT CHECK: Accident didn't kill anti-Trump protesters

AP News
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Posted: Jan 18, 2017 4:45 PM

SEATTLE (AP) — A story shared on social media that claims six people protesting President-elect Donald Trump were killed when they were hit by a truck on a Seattle freeway is false.

The account posted by success-street.com, theseattletribune.com and other sites said an accident occurred on an interstate that does not pass through Seattle and police said it "never happened." The picture attached to the story also appears with stories unrelated to anti-Trump protests dating back to at least October.

The stories say the accident happened on Interstate 15 on conflicting dates in early January. They say a 32-year-old Seattle resident driving an appliance store delivery truck accidently hit a group of protesters standing in the middle of the interstate. The stories cite police reports in saying that four protesters died at the scene and two others died later at a hospital.

Seattle Police Department Detective Patrick Michaud said such an accident "never happened" in the city.

Interstate 15 runs from Montana's border with Canada to San Diego. The highway does not pass through Seattle.

The story included a picture of protesters blocking a highway. Cars in the photo bear Maryland license plates and one of the vehicles is a taxi cab from the Baltimore area. The same image appears in stories unrelated to anti-Trump protests dating back to at least October.

Both success-street.com and theseattletribune.com have posted false news stories in the past. A disclaimer on theseattletribune.com notes that all articles on the site are "fictional."

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This story is part of an ongoing Associated Press effort to fact-check claims in suspected false news stories.