SXSW accident: Suspected drunk driver crashes into crowd, killing two and injuring 23 others, according to police.

Suspected Drunk Driver Crashes Into Crowd at SXSW, Killing 2 and Injuring 23

Suspected Drunk Driver Crashes Into Crowd at SXSW, Killing 2 and Injuring 23

The Slatest has moved! You can find new stories here.
The Slatest
Your News Companion
March 13 2014 10:57 AM

Suspected Drunk Driver Crashes Into SXSW Crowd, Killing 2 and Injuring 23

Banners hang in the atrium of the Austin Convention Center on Thursday, March 7, 2012 on the eve of the opening of the 27th South By Southwest (SXSW) interactive, film and music festival

Photo by Robert MacPherson/AFP/Getty Images

The festivities at the South By Southwest festival in Austin turned deadly overnight when a suspected drunk driver attempted to flee police and ended by crashing his car into a crowd outside a nightclub, killing a man and a woman on a moped and injuring more than 20 others in the process, via the Associated Press:

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said the motorist plowed into people gathered in front of an emptying nightclub around 12:30 a.m., injuring 23 people, five critically. He eventually crashed and tried to make a getaway on foot. A police officer shocked him with a stun gun and took him into custody, Acevedo said at a news conference. The driver, whose name was not released, faces two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle. ...
Police said the incident started when an officer on a drunken-driving patrol tried to stop the silver Toyota sedan at a gas station a few blocks away. The car took off, weaving between parked cars then driving at high speed the wrong way down a one-way street. Taking a right turn on Red River Street, the vehicle crashed through a barricade and narrowly missed a police officer. After hitting pedestrians in front of The Mohawk, the driver hit and killed the two people on the moped and hit a taxi cab before finally crashing. A crime scene unit was still at the scene investigating the crash at dawn Thursday.

As bad as the accident was, police say things could have easily been even worse. Officials said that just minutes before the incident the street had been even more crowded but police had cleared the area to create a fire lane. "We had a large crowd," Acevedo told reporters at a 2:30 a.m. news conference. "I just thank God that a lot of the folks had already been pushed on the sidewalk or this could have been a lot worse."

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.