At approximately 12:30 am, 21-year-old Rashad Owens made the lethal choice of evading a DWI checkpoint downtown during SXSW festivities. But before crashing and an attempt to flee on foot, Owens plowed through a line of concert-goers on Red River between 10th and 11th Streets, hitting pedestrians, a moped, a taxi, a bicycle, and a van, ultimately killing two and injuring nearly two dozen more. He will face two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle, according to APD.
According to eyewitness reports, outside the Mohawk was horrific, with bodies littering the street while first responders arrived on the scene.
The two people killed were identified as a local female on a moped and a cyclist male from the Netherlands. Both were pronounced dead at the scene. The cyclist has been identified as Massive Music creative director Steven Craenmehr. The company released the following statement:
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.
SXSW is working hard alongside APD to learn more details as the story unfolds. During this morning’s press conference, SXSW confirmed the festival will still continue as planned, but Cheer Up Charlie’s and the Mohawk have cancelled their day parties.
If you are in Austin for the festivities this week, please consider donating blood to the Central Texas Blood Center. They are looking specifically for Type O donors. If you are not eligible to donate, please help spread the word.
We encourage all attendees of SXSW, locals and tourists alike, please do not drink and drive.