Two Dead, 23 Injured in Crash at SXSW

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UPDATE:

The identity of the two victims as well as the driver of the vehicle have been revealed.

The first victim of the crash this morning was 35-year-old Steven Craenmehr. Craenmehr’s identity had been confirmed by his employer, Massive Music where he worked as a creative director at their Amsterdam office.

The Travis County Medical Examiner identified the other person who died as 27-year-old Jamie Ranae West of Austin. West and her husband, Evan West, were both riding the moped that was struck by the vehicle; he was one of the many that were hospitalized.

As for the driver who caused this complete fiasco, he has been identified as Rashad Charjuan Owens, a 21-year-old from Killeen, Texas. The San Antonio Express-News revealed that he has a hefty criminal record.

In 2010, he was convicted of criminal trespassing in Killeen and then the following year was charged with driving under the influence of marijuana in Fairbanks, Alaska. e was also charged with leaving the scene of an accident which was then dropped. He claimed that he lost control of the SUV he was driving and “drove off because he didn’t know he had to call police.”

More information has also been revealed, including that Owens was set to perform at one of the events scheduled to take place at Club 1808 near Chicon Street and 12th; the crash occurred near East 11th.

Lamar Wilson, a man claiming to be the suspect’s brother, said that Owens was a musician who rapped and produced under the names, KillingAllBeatz or K.A.B254.

As of now, Owens is going to be charged with two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle.

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South By Southwest is supposed to be a week full of films, music, interactive conferences and fun, but early this morning the situation went turned from enjoyable to deadly.

According to police reports, at around 12:30 a.m., a driver crashed into a group of people who were standing outside the Mohawk at 9th and Red River, killing two and injuring another 23. Of those 23, five of them are reportedly in critical condition.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said in a press conference that two people who were pronounced dead on the scene; one was a male on a bicycle from the Netherlands and the other was a female riding a moped.

Police reported that the man had pulled into a near-by gas station in his silver Toyota in an effort to evade an officer that was working a D.U.I. checkpoint. He move his vehicle through several parked car and then took off at a high speed in the wrong direction of a one-way street. He then proceeded to turn right on Red River Street, crashing though a previously set up barricade, narrowly missing a police office standing post.

He then went on to hit the moped, a taxi, a van, and other vehicles, as well as pedestrians waiting in front of The Mohawk where Tyler, the Creator was slated to perform, before jumping out of his car and running away. The driver was chased by police and eventually tasered then taken into custody.

The driver is facing two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle.

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