2 dead, 23 injured after car crashes into SXSW crowd [w/video]

SXSW 2014 Crash

Two people are dead and 23 injured after a suspected drunk driver, attempting to evade police, barreled through a barricade and into a crowd at Austin’s South by Southwest festival. The incident happened around 12:30AM last night on Red River Street, just a few blocks from the Texas Capitol building.

Police report that an officer attempted to pull over a gray Toyota sedan for drunk driving at a gas station, before the man behind the wheel took off, heading the wrong way down Ninth Street. According to the Austin American-Statesman, he then turned onto Red River, and drove for two more blocks before striking the barricade and the crowd. He then hit a scooter on 11th Street, killing the man and woman that were riding it, before hitting a taxi. The driver attempted to flee on foot before being tased and detained by the same officer that attempted to pull him over.

Speaking to reporters, Police Chief Art Acevedo confirmed that the man would be charged with two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle. The Statesman reports that five people were seriously injured and were transported to University Medical Center Brackenridge.

Eye witnesses report that the driver was traveling “at full speed” when it hit someone. “About 10 bodies went flying,” said Ally Hulton, who saw the incident from a friend’s balcony. Scott Jakota was one of the people hit by the alleged drunk driver, saying the driver “gunned” the car before he was “thrown up in the sky.”

The Austin American-Statesman has video of Police Chief Acevedo’s comments to the media, which we’ve embedded below. Scroll down to take a look and head over to the Statesman’s website for a more thorough account of this tragedy.

Written by Lewis Shaw

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