Last night in Austin, a driver trying to avoid a checkpoint to identify drunk drivers ran their car into a group of people in front of a concert venue at SXSW. According to reports, two are dead and 5 more in critical condition. Eighteen others have been injured in the accident. The driver has been apprehended and faces two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggrevated assault.
An official statement from managing director Roland Swenson at sxsw.com says:
The SXSW staff is stunned and deeply moved by the events of last night.
Dozens of us were on the scene when the incident occurred and we worked closely with APD to create a perimeter around the area, turning back all the visitors spilling out of the clubs who headed north on Red River Street.
To avoid confusion we plan to carry on with our scheduled daytime events at the Austin Convention Center in order to serve our tens of thousands of participants during this tragic time.
All of the SXSW staff and volunteers reported for their regular duties this morning and will continue working today on the event.
We are contacting all of the venues to find out if they have made any decisions about their operations that might impact our visitors.
Despite all of our preparations for dealing with a major incident during SXSW, nothing could really prepare us for how this feels. As much as we would like to just go home and spend time absorbing the shock of this horrific event, we feel our best use is to continue to operate today.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured and with the families of the fatalities.
Witnesses can contact APD 512-974-5186
Check on a loved one. Red Cross will have list by 1pm 800-928-4271
At Zumic, we wish our best to all involved overcoming this great tragedy. Please make sure to be safe whenever you get behind the wheel of an automobile.