Two people have died while twenty-three are injured after a horrific accident occurred during the opening night of SXSW Music. A car drove down a crowded street in Austin, Texas and ran into several pedestrians including an adult couple riding a moped. The tragedy struck the SXSW festival in the early hours on March 13th.
Austin, Texas Chief Of Police made the announcement to the media shortly after 2am local time that the sole suspect is an adult black male who was arrested at the scene of the crime after being tased during an attempted flee. The terrible tragedy struck the SXSW Festival around 12:30am local time. The suspect attempted to escape from a drunk driving checkpoint and ended up heading in the wrong direction down the one-way East 9th street. The driver then accelerated down Red River street and collided into a number of pedestrians. The suspect hit a couple on a moped, killing them instantly stated Austin’s Chief Of Police before crashing into a parked van. The suspect tried to flee on foot after crashing before he was subdued by an officer’s taser. The horrific scene took barely over a minute and occurred at 12.30am local time. Of the twenty-three injured, five are reported to being in critical condition though most walked away with moderate wounds and injuries. The Chief Of Police is asking any witnesses to immediately contact the Austin Police Department and stated that there is only a single person responsible for this horrible tragedy and it is clear that person has no respect for the sanctity of life. He concluded by saying that from his perspective, the suspect needs to go to jail. The suspect remains unnamed and uninjured in police custody.
The street in question, Red River, is where numerous venues and bars take part in the SXSW festival. Two such venues, the Mohawk and Cheer Up Charlies, will be shut for the remainder of the day, according to Art Acevedo, Austin’s Chief Of Police. Acevedo noted that this was the worst accident he has seen at the SXSW festival in his seven years with the local law enforcement. Rapper Tyler, The Creator was schedule to perform at the Mohawk at 1am local time. After the tragedy struck the SXSW festival, Tyler, The Creator tweeted: “Show Isnt Happening, Something Sad Happened. I’m Bummed”.
Many big name artists and bands are in Austin for the ten-day long festival. The 2014 lineup at SXSW Music is one of the biggest the festival has ever seen. Coldplay and Lady Gaga are amongst the top acts scheduled to play at this year’s SXSW Music along with dozens of others. SXSW Music is known to feature acts from all genres and turns the town on Austin into a giant celebration of the best music has to offer. The terrible tragedy that struck the SXSW Festival will be a difficult memory for many to erase. There are several Youtube videos available that have captured the horrific scene shortly after the incident occurred.