Thu 13 Mar 2014
Tragic news from SXSW this morning. According to Billboard, two people were killed and 23 injured, five critically, in a hit-and-run incident at the Austin, Texas festival. At around 12:30AM this morning, a car crashed through a barricade set up for the festival and plowed into a terrifying number of people outside the House of Vans Presents show at Mohawk.
The driver, who was suspected to be intoxicated, was trying to evade the police. According to Austin police chief Art Acevedo, the driver later crashed into another car before exiting the vehicle and attempting to flee on foot. He was eventually caught and taken into custody, where he’s facing two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle.
UPDATE: The driver has been identified as Rashad Charjuan Owens, a 21-year-old aspiring rapper from Killeen, TX who was actually booked to perform at SXSW. Owens, who is a father of six, had initially been stopped at a DWI checkpoint before attempting to flee the police.
According to the San Antonio Express-News, Owens was previously busted for driving under the influence of marijuana and leaving the scene of an accident in Alaska in 2011. He was also arrested on a criminal trespassing charge in Killeen, TX in 2010.
UPDATE #2: We’re sad to report that a third person has died as a result of the accident. According to the Austin American-Statesman, Sandy Thuy Le, 26, died this morning after being in critical condition at University Medical Center Brackenridge since early Thursday.
More images from the tragic scene after the jump…
Eye witness report from Complex Associate Editor Insanul Ahmed:
“There were several lines [outside of the venue]. I was standing on the left side with the badge-holders. There were people without badges waiting on the other side, some in the street. Security moved them onto the sidewalk, some people were possibly hanging off onto the street.” He said he then saw a car knocking people on this line and that it looked like, “popping popcorn.” He said a cop car immediately followed, although slowly, and he believes that it was already in pursuit of the assailing vehicle before the incident.
[Images via New York Times]