Suspected drunken driver arrested after plowing into crowd at South by Southwest festival

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Associated Press

Posted on March 13, 2014 at 10:02 AM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A suspected drunken driver has been arrested after his vehicle crashed through barricades and slammed into a crowd at the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, killing a man and a woman riding a moped and leaving at least 23 others hurt.

The city's police chief says the crash happened in front of an emptying nightclub shortly after midnight as the driver tried to evade police. The driver then tried to get away on foot, but an officer shocked him with a stun gun.

The annual music, film and interactive conference draws tens of thousands to Austin each year, and the toll could have been much higher. The street had been packed with revelers just minutes earlier, but officials had cleared the area to create a fire lane.

The suspect faces two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle.

%@AP Links

152-a-07-(Art Acevedo, Austin police chief, at news conference)-"a capital offense"-Police chief Art Acevedo says the driver has been charged with capital murder. (13 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *152 (03/13/14)££ 00:07 "a capital offense"

151-a-12-(Art Acevedo, Austin police chief, at news conference)-"high rate of speed"-Police chief Art Acevedo reports the suspect is facing two counts of capital murder. (13 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *151 (03/13/14)££ 00:12 "high rate of speed"

149-w-34-(Ed Donahue, AP correspondent, with a crash witness and Austin police chief Art Acevedo)--Two people were killed after a crash through barricades at the South By Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. The AP's Ed Donahue reports. (13 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *149 (03/13/14)££ 00:34

150-a-11-(Unidentified crash witness, in interview)-"it was terrifying"-This witness says the crash happened very quickly. COURTESY: KXAN-TV ((mandatory on-air credit)) ((part of cut used in wrap)) (13 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *150 (03/13/14)££ 00:11 "it was terrifying"

153-a-08-(Art Acevedo, Austin police chief, at news conference)-"of human life"-Police chief Art Acevedo says the driver is facing capital murder charges for trying to avoid facing a drunk driving charge. ((cut used in wrap)) (13 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *153 (03/13/14)££ 00:08 "of human life"

APPHOTO TXAUS201: People are treated after being struck by a vehicle on Red River Street in downtown Austin, Texas, on Wednesday March 12, 2014. Police say two people were confirmed dead at the scene after a car drove through temporary barricades set up for the South By Southwest festival and struck a crowd of pedestrians. The condition of the victims shown is unknown. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Jay Janner) AUSTIN CHRONICLE OUT, COMMUNITY IMPACT OUT, MAGS OUT; NO SALES; INTERNET AND TV MUST CREDIT PHOTOGRAPHER AND STATESMAN.COM (12 Mar 2014)

<<APPHOTO TXAUS201 (03/12/14)££

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