The Austin-American Statesman reports that a suspected drunk driver crashed through a police barricade on Red River and sped through a crowd of South By Southwest revelers killing two and injuring twenty-three people.
The incident occurred at around 12.30am as festival-goers were walking along the blocked off street which is home to many popular music clubs.
Two of the injured remain in critical condition with three in a serious condition with injuries including spinal fracture and head injuries. Seven other injured remained hospitalised on Thursday afternoon,
The driver has been identified as Rashad Charjuan Owens, 21, of Killeen. He was arrested as he tried to flee the scene on foot. He will face two charges of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle.
One of the dead was a Dutch musician and music agency, the other, an Austin woman on a moped. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
The Statesman reports that the Managing director of SXSW, Roland Swenson, said staff are contacting all venues to determine if events will change.
“As much as we’d like to go home and spend time absorbing the shock of this horrific event, we feel our best use is to continue to operate today,” Swenson said. “We will announce changes to the schedule as they occur today.”
The Austin Chronicle reports that Mayor Lee Leffingwell expressed condolences for the victims who had lost their lives or been injured saying there is “no way to express” the city’s sorrow at this ‘tragic event,’ The mayor also noted that in 27 years of the SXSW Festivals, this was the ‘first incident of its kind.