Fourth person dies from crash at South by Southwest in Austin

by Reuters
Thursday, 27 March 2014 20:40 GMT

AUSTIN, Texas, March 27 (Reuters) - An 18-year-old man has become the fourth person to die as a result of a motorist who plowed a car into crowds of people outside the popular South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, two weeks ago, police said on Thursday.

DeAndre Tatum "passed away as a result of his injuries," Austin police said on their Twitter feed. Tatum, a Fort Worth, Texas, resident, had been in critical condition at an Austin hospital since the March 13 incident.

Rashad Charjuan Owens, 21, from Killeen, Texas, has been charged with capital murder for allegedly plowing his car into crowds of people over several hundred yards.

Police said Owens fled from a sobriety checkpoint, smashed through a police barricade and then mowed down people, some of them lined up outside a nightclub, as he sped through several city blocks.

Jamie West, 27, from Austin, and Steven Craenmehr, 35, of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, died at the scene. Sandy Thuy Le, 26, died last week from injuries suffered in the incident. About two dozen others were injured.

Owens, who is being held on a $3 million bond, has not issued any statement.

South by Southwest, known as SXSW, which ran from March 7-16, began as a music event in 1987. It features technology conferences, a film festival and music shows that draw tens of thousands of people to the Texas capital annually.

Many roads in downtown Austin were closed to traffic each night of the event as thousands took to restaurants, bars, clubs and movie theaters. Police set up numerous checkpoints in the area to look for people suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. (Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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