Orangeburg man arrested for deadly SXSW accident
Thu, 13 Mar 2014 12:43:28 GMT —
AUSTIN, Texas (KEYE) -- A Killeen man is in jail accused of killing two people when he crashed his car into a crowd at the South by Southwest Festival Thursday morning.
The crash happened just after 12:30 a.m. It began at the I-35 frontage road at 9th Street. Police were trying to pull over a silver Toyota for suspected drunk driving.
According to a report, the driver was Rashad Charjuan Owens.
Owens has Orangeburg, South Carolina listed as his hometown on his Facebook page.
Police say the car turned into a blocked road full of people. Two police cars followed it.
The driver almost hit an officer, went into the crowd, hit a moped and a bicycle.
The man on the bicycle, 35-year-old Steven Craenmehr of the Netherlands, was killed. A passenger on the moped, a woman who has not been identified, was also killed.
The car then hit a taxi and parked van. The chase ended at 11th and Red River Street outside the Mohawk club.
The suspect ran from the scene. Officers used a Taser to subdue him. He was not injured. Craenmehr worked at Amsterdam-based MassiveMusic.
"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,"
according to a statement on the MassiveMusic website.
During a 10:30 a.m. news conference, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said cancelling South by Southwest events in the wake of the deadly crash would be "a victory for evil, not a victory for humanity."
Acevedo addressed a crowd of reporters at the site of the crash along with top emergency officials, Mayor Lee Leffingwell, and South by Southwest managing director Roland Swenson.
At a separate press conference Thursday morning, University Medical Center Brackenridge medical director Dr. Christopher Ziebell said two patients remain in critical conditions with severe head injuries.
The owner of the Toyota reported it stolen from Killeen Thursday morning. Police say the suspect faces two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle.
To read more about this story and view video from the the festival visit our sister station KEYE.