South by Southwest has grown into Austin’s signature event over the nearly three decades since its humble beginnings nearly three decades ago. What started as an opportunity for unknown bands to find a new audience and try to make a name for themselves has become a multimedia event that attracts creators of music, movies, and technology from across the globe. Household names like Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber and even Edward Snowden are making appearances (the last one by video, of course).
The festival, which is running this year from March 7 to March 16, is always an exciting time for our state’s capital to be on display as a creative center in our country. Unfortunately, this year, SXSW also made headlines for foolish tragedy.
Rashad Charjaun Owens was arrested on the streets of Austin early on Thursday and now faces two charges of capital murder and twenty-three counts of aggravated assault. Owens was trying to evade police who suspected he was driving drunk by plowing his car through a street barricade and directly into the huge crowd still gathered after midnight for music. Even after hitting unsuspecting pedestrians with his vehicle, Owens continued his efforts to escape arrest by exiting his car and running. It finally took a stun gun to stop him and take him into custody.
While some shows at the venues by which the murders took place were cancelled, the festival moved forward, surely with thoughts of the victims on the minds of all performers and those in the audience.
The lives lost can never be returned and some with critical injuries now face a long road of rehabilitation and lives forever changed, all because one person made the horrible decision to turn the car ignition after a lot of drinking.
If someone you love has been hurt or killed by a drunk driver, you need to seek justice. You deserve to be compensated for injuries and grief and trauma. The automobile accident attorneys at Bertolino LLP can help. Please contact us today and let us get to work for you.