Details about SXSW crash victims released


by SHELTON GREEN / KVUE News and Photojournalist PETER HULL

Posted on March 14, 2014 at 9:20 AM

AUSTIN, Texas -- More information about the victims in the South by Southwest crash are being released. Two people were killed, and 23 were injured when an alleged drunk driver plowed through a crowd of festival goers.

Those killed include a wife from Austin, who was riding a scooter with her husband, and a creative music director from the Netherlands, who was on his bicycle.

Co-workers of Jamie West knew something wasn't right when she didn't show up for work Thursday morning. They cared enough to come knocking on her neighbor's door.

“They asked if we’d heard or anything, if we could let them know and maybe check in and see if they had come home,” said neighbor Joann Holle.

The 27-year-old was one of two people killed. Her husband, Evan, is fighting for his life at University Medical Center Brackenridge where his condition was listed as critical Thursday night.

“They were like lovebirds. I would see them when they went and took a walk together. They walked their dog. I know they have at least one dog,” said neighbor Mark Baldree.

“It's just very sad, sad, sad situation,” said Holle. “And we're pretty torn up about it. You know. It's hard.”

“Really I couldn't believe it,” said Baldree. “I didn't think it was going to be anybody on our street."

It’s difficult for the family of 35-year-old Steven Craenmehr. Craenmehr died from his injuries as well.

Originally from the Netherlands, Craenmehr, a creative director for Massive Music, was in Austin for SXSW. He was on his bicycle when he and more than 20 others were plowed through by suspected drunk driver 21-year-old Rashad Owens.

More than and a dozen victims are still in the hospital in various conditions. Doctors said their injuries include arm and leg fractures, neck and spine injuries, concussions and missing teeth.

De'Andre Tatum, 18, of Fort Worth is one of the victims fighting for his life

“He's unresponsive. He has a broken leg. He has a broken pelvic bone and a severe brain injury,” said Tamara O’Neal, Tatum’s mother. “I just want him to get up and walk again and to at least open his eyes and know that we're here for him.”

Neighbors are hoping that something positive will come out of something so tragic.

“Life is short,” said Holle. “You don't just ever know when you're going to get this kind of news about someone that you care about.”

“There's lots of free rides. Any taxi ride isn't more than $20 bucks in Austin. It's well worth that,” said Baldree.

Looking for ways you can help those affected by the deadly SXSW crash? For more information go here.