An SXSW accident involving an alleged drunk driver has left two people dead and nearly two dozen with injuries. The accident occurred early this morning at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.
According to a report from The Associated Press, as carried by ABC News today, two individuals on a moped “were killed early Thursday when a suspected drunken driver fleeing police crashed through barricades… and slammed into a crowd of festivalgoers.”
The driver, said to be drunk, was fleeing police when he crashed into dozens of people that had gathered outside the Mohawk nightclub on Red River Street for the annual music festival. The driver now faces two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle. His name was not released.
After crashing, the driver exited his vehicle, a silver Toyota, and attempted to flee, but was hit by a police taser and incapacitated.
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said that had police not recently cleared the street of people blocking a fire lane, the incident would have been much worse.
“We had a large crowd,” Acevedo said. “I just thank God that a lot of the folks had already been pushed on the sidewalk or this could have been a lot worse.”
Scott Jakota was one of the first to be hit by the drunk’s car. Jakota said the drunk “gunned” his car before hitting him. “I was thrown up in the sky,” Jakota said.
Witness Ally Hulton, a 28-year-old from Los Angeles, saw the accident from a balcony overlooking the scene below. Hulton said she saw the car driving “at full speed” before hitting the crowd.
“About 10 bodies went flying,” Hulton said.
“We do these events very well, but you cannot stop a person who rather than face drunk driving charges decides to speed at a high rate of speed, go around a uniformed officer forcing him to run out of the way, then at a high rate of speed show total disregard for the sanctity of human life,” Acevedo said.