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SXSW Car Accident Driver Revealed

Updates continue to come in regarding Thursday’s tragic accident at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. The accident, according to The Hollywood Reporter, caused a total of 23 people injured, five of whom are still in critical condition, and left two dead. Details on the incident have been recently released.

Austin police released demographics of the driver on Thursday Afternoon. The driver, 22 year-old Rashad Charjuan Owens, an aspiring rapper, was arrested, but formal charges are still pending. Police also released the names of the victims, save the three females and one male who have yet to be identified. According to reports, Owens was on his way to perform at the festival.

The Hollywood Reporter lists the victims as follows: Evan West, 29; Joseph McCraney, 26; Mason Endres, 18; Kartisha Davis, 18; Greg Cerna, 19; April Martinez, 29; Ryan Freeman, 20; Johannes Hailu, 39; Maria Belyvia, 20; Carolyn Grace, 19; Jeff Chenzer, 29; Ashley Easley, 20; Jacob Gallegos, 20; Erica Hall, 19; Jane Henderson, 24; William Josma, 29; Juan Leura, 20; Jaqueline Longhurst, 21; and Alexis Zamarippa, 17.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo reports that the incident began around 12:30 a.m. on Thursday morning when a police officer searching for drunk drivers attempted to stop a car at a gas station. Instead of stopping, the drive tried to evade the authorities. He ultimately sped the wrong way on 9th street, a one-way street. There, he struck multiple pedestrians and crashed into a SWSW barricade. The drive continued down Red River Street, where he hit multiple people. On 11th street, a man and a woman on a moped were hit. The drive then crashed into a taxi and a parked van before he attempted to flee on foot. Police overtook the driver and tased him to take him into custody.

The woman on the moped was pronounced dead on the scene. The man on the moped is still in critical condition.

Owens will be charged with two counts of capital murder, based on Texas law. He will also be charged with 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle. Information on Owens’ blood alcohol level will be released once it is made available.


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Monique Jones blogs about race and culture in entertainment, particularly movies and television. You can read her articles at Racialicious, and her new site, COLOR . You can also listen to her new podcast, What would Monique Say.

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