SXSW Crash: Driver Faces Capital Murder Charges
A man who was driving under the influence at the SXSW festival in Austin now faces two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault by vehicle after he rammed his car into a crowd on the street.
The suspect had been stopped by police on suspicion of DUI but fled the scene, breaking through a police barrier and driving the wrong way down a one-way street. After plowing through the gathering of people near the Mohawk club, he hit two people on a motor scooter who were killed instantly and continued on, striking several others in his path. Of the 23 injured, investigators say five are in critical condition and are asking anyone with photos or videos of the incident to turn them over to Austin police.
“There is only one person responsible for this, someone with no regard for the sanctity of life,” Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said during a press conference. “Our focus is on gathering evidence and seeking justice for the people who lost their lives.”
The driver ran away on foot after the crash but was soon apprehended and is now in custody. Witnesses to the incident say it was almost unbelievable.
“It looked like something out of a movie,” said Russ Barone. “A few people lying on the street … with their friends around them trying to get them up, trying to get them back to life. Hopefully, they are. I’ve never seen nothing like it. I felt like I was at a war or something. I was down here for the music … we were having the best time ever. And then it turned into the worst thing I’ve ever seen.”
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