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Two Dead, 23 Injured After Suspected Drunk Driver Crashes Into Crowd at SXSW

Two people are dead after a suspected drunk driver plowed his car through a crowd of SXSW attendees in Austin, Texas and crashed into a barricade at about 12:30AM on Thursday evening (March 12). There were also 23 people who were injured, five critically.

According to the Austin Police department, an intoxicated driver in a small Toyota tried to avoid a DUI stop at a gas station after being flagged by police. The driver turned around and drove in the wrong direction down Ninth Street, then traveled onto Red River for more than two blocks.

While hitting many pedestrians in his path, the driver crashed into a man on bicycle and a woman on a moped that was driving along 11th street. Both were killed. The driver continued on and hit a taxi, injuring two more people, and eventually crashed into a parked van outside the Mohawk Bar.

The driver, identified as 21-year-old Rashad Owens of Killeen, Texas, attempted to run away from the scene but was then stunned with a Taser gun and taken in by the same police officer who initially tried to stop him at the DWI checkpoint.

Owens faces two counts of capital murder after the incident. The deceased male victim was identified by his employer, Massive Music, as Steven Craenmehr, 35, from the Netherlands. The woman, from Austin, has not been identified.

Each year, thousands flock to SXSW, one of the largest music festivals, in March to watch rising artists (and many established entertainers) perform.

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