Alleged Drunk Driver Kills 2, Injures 23 In SXSW Hit-And-Run
An alleged drunk driver plowed through a crowd at the South By Southwest music festival in Texas, leaving two dead and 23 injured. According to the Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Service Public Information Office, the incident happened in downtown Austin early Thursday morning (March 13) outside of Mohawk bar on Red River and 10th streets. Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell addressed suspicions of the driver, whose name has not been released, being drunk in a statement early Thursday. “Austin Police Department is investigating this matter as allegedly involving drunk driving,” he said. “If this is true, this fact angers me. Drunk driving is never acceptable, and can lead to deadly consequences,”During a press conference, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said that the incident started as a DWI stop at a gas station on the I-35 access road where the suspected driver drove at a “high-rate speed”, killing one adult male and one adult female. Five of the 23 injured who were rushed to the hospital are in critical condition.
People comfort each other after the Austin incident #sxsw Jay Janner/Austin-American Statesman pic.twitter.com/z8meXaN9EI
— Brandon Wall (@Walldo) March 13, 2014
The man attempted to flee his vehicle before cops took him into custody. The driver will be charged two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle. This year’s SXSW Festival has attracted thousands of visitors, boasting showcases that feature big name stars including Kanye West, Jay Z and Snoop Dogg. UPDATE: From Austin Business Journal: 12:38 p.m. update: Mohawk cancels events for Thursday The Mohawk nightclub, near the scene of Thursday morning’s deadly vehicular accident on Red River Street, has cancelled all events scheduled for Thursday afternoon, according to a tweet from the establishment. The nightclub said it will coordinate with city and South By Southwest officials on how to proceed from there. A statement attached to the announcement reads in full: Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families of last night’s senseless tragedy. We are working together with SXSW and city officials on next steps. We will be canceling all events scheduled for this afternoon. Tonight’s events are still pending, we will communicate information as it becomes available. Our hearts are broken, thank you, as always, for the love and support. 12:07 p.m. update: Statesman names suspect in Red River Street crash The Austin American-Statesman reports that the suspect alleged to have driven the car in Thursday morning’s deadly crash through Red River Street is Killeen resident Rasahd Charjuan Owens, age 22. 12:01 p.m. update: Identity of Netherlands victim in Red River Street crash released One of the deceased victims in the Red River Street crash early Thursday morning has been identified as Steven Craenmehr, creative director of Netherlands-based music agency Massive Music. The company confirmed the identity of the victim on its website and in a Tweet sent out at 11:30 a.m. Central time.