The PJ Tatler

Drunk Driver Leaves Two Dead, Many Injured at #SXSW in Austin (Update: Suspect Identified)

This is terrible.

AUSTIN (KXAN) -The driver in a deadly downtown wreck — allegedly involving drunken driving — will be charged with two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle after the car plowed through a crowded street full of people waiting for a South by Southwest concert.

A man and woman are dead, and 23 are hurt after the car hit a crowd of people outside The Mohawk. Police say the suspect sped off, after being stopped on suspicion of DWI.

The tragedy happened at about 2:30 this morning. Police tried pulling the man over because they suspected drunk driving. The driver apparently confirmed that and took off the wrong way down a crowded, closed street, and killed two people while careening up and down several streets downtown. Five of the injured remain in critical condition. The suspect was arrested and will be charged with two counts of capital murder, which can carry the death penalty.

Austin is a fantastic town and SXSW is a fantastic event, but Austin will need to take a long, hard look at a few things after SXSW14 winds down. The town’s downtown economy is practically built on bar crawls, and major festivals like SX accentuate that. The city’s infrastructure is straining under the weight of the annual 25% population increase that SXSW brings in.

Update: Sources identify the suspect as Rashad Charjuan Owens, 21 years old. Police say that he car he was driving was reported stolen in Killeen. Police also say that his actions were intentional when he plowed that stolen car into a group of people.