The overall mood of SXSW may have been sullen after the tragic accident that left two dead in the wee hours of Thursday, but the music had to go on. A fatal drunk driving event killed two and left more than two dozen other injured on Red River Street the same street where people lined up Thursday night to see SXSW music keynote speaker Lady Gaga at Stubb’s and A$AP MOB at the Mohawk.
Before the show, the Mohawk staff was focused on pushing through the tragedy as a whole and relying on one another to bring light out of a terrible situation. “Everyone thinks of each other as family here,” said Transmission Entertainment general Manager Bobby Garza saying the club’s employees were deeply shaken, but trying to band together and build something positive.
Authorities today identified the suspected DUI driver, who crashed his vehicle through barricades set up for the SXSW festival, plowing his way through a crowd while fleeing from police.
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said 23 people were injured, with 5 injured critically. The driver is suspected of a DWI, according to ABC affiliate KVUE. The suspect identified was 21-year-old Rashad Owens of Killeen, Texas who was reportedly evading a sobriety test and ended up killing two because of this.
The two victims who perished were a man and a woman, one of whom was on a bicycle and the other was on a bicycle. Many of the pedestrians were leaving a club where a concert had been taking place, Acevedo said.
The suspect then tried to flee the scene by foot but was captured by police in the process.
Eight of the 23 injured were sent to Brackenridge Emergency at University Medical Center, per Dr. Christopher Ziebell, medical director at the University Medical Center Brackenridge emergency department.