Allegedly Drunken Driver Slams into Austin Crowd, Killing Two
Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) March 17, 2014 – An allegedly drunken driver slammed into a large crowd of people at the South by Southwest festival in Austin leaving two dead and at least 23 injured.
“According to eyewitness reports, the Austin police were chasing a man they suspected was driving while impaired. They spotted him heading the wrong way on a one-way street and when they went to stop him, he took off at high speed, taking a diversionary run through a gas station parking lot. The lot was solidly parked and the pursuing cruiser had to stop and back out. The driver kept accelerating up the street, hitting people and vehicles as he fled,” recounts Bobby Lee, an Austin DWI plaintiff’s lawyer with Lee Gober & Reyna. The South by Southwest festival, the scene of this horrific event, is held yearly offering film, interactive and music festivals. It is an extremely popular event, drawing thousands.
The police were eventually able to chase the driver, 21-year-old Rashad Owens, down but had to use a Taser to subdue the individual to take him into custody. Other witnesses and surviving victims indicated the driver swerved to hit people and had run into someone on a moped, a man on a bicycle, pedestrians, a van, and had crashed into a taxicab. YouTube videos taken by people who saw the carnage were posted on the Internet. The full horror of the event was captured as bodies were seen flying in the air after being hit. Paramedics and survivors described the scene as being like a war zone. Others saw people they were standing close to die.
“The driver was charged with two counts of capital murder, the highest offense under state law,” says Lee, “and was also charged with 23 counts of aggravated assault by vehicle.” Many of the survivors were admitted to the nearest local hospital with multiple internal injuries. Some were lucky enough to be released after treatment, but at least eight remain in the hospital. Three are reported as being in serious condition, two are rated as critical and three have non-life threatening injuries. Police are urging anyone that shot video footage or took pictures, to turn the evidence over to the police to enhance their case against the driver of the car.
“This horrific event clearly shows that life can and does change on a dime. Due to the negligence of a driver under the influence, two died and 23 were injured. The individual was negligence in drinking to excess, by getting into his vehicle and driving in the manner he did. If you are one of those who suffered injuries in this catastrophically devastating event, call me. We stand ready to assist you in obtaining compensation for your injuries,” says Lee.
Lee, Gober & Reyna
11940 Jollyville Road #220-S
Austin, Texas 78759
- Driving while distracted? Know the facts.
Distracted driving usually entails texting or calling while behind the wheel. Many people think it’s not a big deal to take a call or answer a message because they are solidly competent drivers when paying attention. Know the facts: Drivers are twice as likely to be involved in an accident while texting. Eleven percent of all drivers under 20 years of age who are involved in a fatal accident were driving distracted. Sixty percent of drivers use mobile devices while driving. Seventy-eight percent of young adults and teens say they read messages while behind the wheel. Seventy-one percent say they […]
- Could MADD plates work in Texas?
South Carolina’s MADD came up with a new way to drive home the message that drunk driving kills – a new special license plate remembering drunk driving victims. In South Carolina alone, drunk driving claimed 358 victims in 2012. That year, more than 10,000 died across the nation. A $20 bill buys the plate, and ten dollars of the initial sale goes to support MADD’s work in the purchaser’s state. Could this work in Texas? No reason why it couldn’t be tried. It’s one more effective, visual, and very mobile campaign to repeat the oft-heard refrain: don’t drink and drive. […]
- Warsaw researchers design a new way to detect alcohol in a moving vehicle
In breaking news, scientists working for the Military University of Technology in Warsaw have developed a laser system able to detect alcohol in moving cars while standing at roadside. The laser detects alcohol vapors, then sends a message, a snapshot of the car and the license plate number to a waiting police officer. The vehicle can then be stopped by law enforcement, and the officer has the opportunity to conduct further traditional roadside alcohol tests. The benefits of such a system are immediately obvious. It would reduce the number of cars that need to be manually checked by police, and […]
- Eighteen-wheelers can cause major, fatal traffic accidents
On a recent Sunday evening, an 18-wheeler found itself stalled on I-35 South at Rittiman Road. As a result, several other vehicles behind the big rig were involved in a chain-reaction crash. There were a number of serious injuries, and the police shut that section of the Interstate down until they could clean up the debris left by the accident and transport injured drivers to various medical facilities for care. A police investigation was launched to determine the exact cause of the accident and to find out whether or not the truck had a mechanical defect that caused it to […]
- Repeat drunk driving offenders are not uncommon
Despite drunk driving campaigns and a series of laws relating to DWIs, repeat drunk driving offenders remain common. James Fisher has been arrested 12 times since 1991 for driving while intoxicated. Fisher’s last arrest took place just after his release from prison for serving time for a 2009 DUI conviction. There are hundreds of cases like this every year. According to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, 37 percent of the 5,400 individuals arrested for DUI in 2012 were repeat offenders. Many states have extremely strict DWI laws and steep fines, but they have not stopped some people from […]