Accident at SXSW Claims 2 Lives
South by Southwest is a huge event and a great opportunity for musicians to be seen and heard by industry professionals every year in Austin. Now tragedy has cast a pall over the festive atmosphere. A drunk driver plowed into a crowd of people at the South by Southwest festival in Austin early Thursday morning (March 13), leaving at least two people dead and 23 injured. CNN reports the driver, who has yet to be identified, was driving the wrong direction on a one-way street prior to the accident. When authorities attempted to stop him, he drove off, narrowly avoiding hitting an officer. The car then ran into the crowd, causing a devastating scene.
“It looked like something out of a movie,” festival-goer Russ Barone tells CNN. “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.”
He adds, “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.”
According to Art Acevedo, Chief of the Austin Police Department, the incident killed a man and a woman who were riding their light motorcycles. At least 23 others were hospitalized. A suspect is in custody, facing two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault by vehicle.