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Suspect in SXSW Crash Facing 20 Added Charges

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Allison Denton3 years ago

Rashad Owens, the suspect in the South by Southwest crash that killed four people, is facing 20 new assault charges.

About the SXSW Crash 

According to KXAN, 21-year-old Rashad Owens, the suspect in the South by Southwest car crash, is facing 20 separate charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in addition to a capital murder charge.

On March 13th, Owens allegedly accelerated into crowds of people gathered for the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas as he attempted to evade police.

A police officer noticed that Owens’ gray Honda civic didn’t have its headlights turned on, then watched as Owens made a turn out of a wrong lane, almost crashing into another police car. The officer, suspecting Owens of drunk driving, began to follow the Honda civic.

At this point, Owens took off, driving the wrong way down a major street and eventually ramming through a barricade set up to separate SXSW crowds and traffic. Owens claims that he reacted out of fear; he had a kidnapping warrant stemming from a custody battle over his daughter and did not want to go to jail.

Owens’ car rampage resulted in four deaths and multiple injuries. His blood-alcohol content at the time of the incident was .114; the legal limit in Texas is .08.

Prosecutors are attempting to solidify their case against Owens with the added aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges. Each charge could carry a sentence of up to twenty years. The state has not decided if they will pursue the death penalty in relation to Owens’ case.

Texas Auto Accident Statistics

Following information provided by the Texas Department of Transportation:

  • 3,399 people were killed in traffic accidents along Texas roadways in 2012. This marks a 10.82 percent increase from the 3,067 deaths record in 2011.
  • In addition, another 230,506 people were injured in auto accidents with 87,087 people suffering a serious injury.
  • 481 of the people killed in auto accidents in 2012 were pedestrians – up 13.2 percent from 2012.
  • 32.3 percent of the auto accident fatailites recorded in 2012 involved a driver who was under the influence of alcohol.


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