Police ID Drunk Driver Who Killed 2, Injured 23 at SXSW

People are treated after being struck by a vehicle on Red River Street in downtown Austin, Texas, March 12, 2014. Rashad Owens, right, of Killeen, Texas, faces two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault by vehicle. (Jay Janner/Statesman.com/AP Photo)
People are treated after being struck by a vehicle on Red River Street in downtown Austin, Texas, March 12, 2014. Rashad Owens, right, of Killeen, Texas, faces two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault by vehicle. (Jay Janner/Statesman.com/AP Photo)

Authorities today identified the DUI suspect who allegedly killed two people and injured dozens of others in Austin, Texas, when he crashed his vehicle through barricades set up for the South by Southwest festival, plowing into a crowd while fleeing police.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said 23 people were injured, five of them critically, in the incident. The driver is suspected of DWI, according to ABC affiliate KVUE. The suspect was identified as 21-year-old Rashad Owens of Killeen, Texas.

.@kvue sxsw workers creating a perimeter with bicycles. Trying to move crowds out with megaphones. pic.twitter.com/nYKH58FgJK — Tyler Wiethorn (@tweethorn) March 13, 2014

The two victims who died were a man and a women, one of whom was on a moped and the other a bicycle. Many of the pedestrians were leaving a club where a concert had been held, Acevedo said.

Police said the incident unfolded as an officer on a drunken-driving patrol tried to stop the silver Toyota sedan at a gas station. 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, the Associated Press reported.

Eight of the 23 injured were sent to Brackenridge Emergency at University Medical Center, according to Dr. Christopher Ziebell, medical director at the University Medical Center Brackenridge emergency department.

“Seven [were received] right away and the eighth was transferred in overnight from one of the hospitals across town when they discovered injuries that were a little more severe than they could deal with,” Ziebell said. “Of these eight persons, two are critically injured and in very critical condition, another three are in serious condition and are in some level of higher or intensive care. Two patients were treated and released, including the driver that was involved in this incident.”

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SOURCE: DAN GOOD and FRANK ELARIDI
ABC News

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