South by Southwest turned dark when a car crashed through a barrier injuring bystanders. The event occurred roughly at 1am on March 13, 2014 outside the Mohawk nightclub.
According to KXAN, the suspect ran off after being stopped by the police on suspicion of driving under the influence. Then the suspect went the wrong way and ran through a barrier on Red River and hitting festival-goers waiting in line outside for a concert. The suspect continued on 10th and 11th street before hitting a van. He proceeded to attempt to flee the scene, but was tazed by the police.
Eyewitnesses described the vehicle to be a “grey sedan with a cracked windshield plowing into the crowd.” 23 people are injured, 5 in critical condition, and two are dead. The live stream of the press conference can be watched here.
Due to the event, all the shows following this incident at Mohawk got canceled. Uber also responded by offering free rides to help people get home safely.
Our hearts goes out to all the victims of the crash. To all those still at SXSW for music, have a safe rest of the week and remember to never drink and drive.
Update: Sources confirmed that the suspect is 21 years old, Rashad Charjuan Owens. He will be charged with capital murder and aggravated assault with a vehicle. The two people who died were Steven Craenmehr from the Netherlands, and Jamie West from Austin, Texas. Steven Craenmehr was an employee of MassiveMusic and was on a bicycle when he was hit. Jamie West was on a moped with another man when Owens ran into her. Unfortunately she did not make it, but the other man on the moped is now stable.
It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our close friend and colleague Steven Craenmehr, 35, on March 13th, 2014 at SXSW. During the 8 years that Steven worked for MassiveMusic, we got to know him as an unstoppable force, full of life, love and laughter. This is an irreplaceable loss for the MassiveMusic family and we are grateful for the years we spent with him. Our thoughts are with Steven’s family and friends. – MassiveMusic