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3rd person dies from South By Southwest crash



AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A third person struck by a suspected drunken driver in Austin last week during the South By Southwest festival died Monday, police and family said.

Sandy Thuy Le, 26, died from the injuries she sustained when she was run over outside The Mohawk music club early Thursday, Austin police spokeswoman Veneza Bremner said.

Police say the driver, Rashad Owens, was fleeing police when he crashed through a barricade and accelerated his car into a crowd in Austin's Red River Entertainment District, killing two people at the scene and injuring 21 others.

Le had been listed in critical condition since she was struck. Dr. Christopher Ziebell, the emergency department director at the University Medical Center-Brackenridge, had said the two most critically injured patients suffered life-threatening head injuries.

Stuart Gates, Le's brother-in-law, said she was surrounded by friends and family when she died Monday morning. She came from a Vietnamese-American shrimping family that had lost their home in Hurricane Katrina and had to stop working during the BP gulf oil spill.

"She was super-intelligent, one of those types that never let college get in the way of her education," he said, adding that she had moved to Austin three years ago to finish her college degree. "She was a brilliant person, a wonderful personality and bubbly in a fun way, real outgoing. A live life to the fullest type."

Gates said Le's family was praying and offering support to the family of the other critically injured victim, DeAndre Tatum. They planned a funeral for Le in her hometown of Pass Christian, Miss., on Saturday.

The victims who died Thursday were Steven Craenmehr, a 35-year-old Dutchman who was on a bicycle, and 27-year-old Jamie West of Austin, who was riding on a moped when the car plowed into her.

Five of the injured remained hospitalized Monday at University Medical Center, including one person in critical condition and two in serious condition, spokeswoman Kendra Clawson said. Two other patients remained hospitalized elsewhere.

Owens, 21, has been charged with capital murder and aggravated assault with a motor vehicle. He's accused of driving drunk and fleeing from police, then intentionally driving into the festivalgoers. The aspiring rapper from Killeen has been jailed on $3 million bond, and prosecutors are expected to seek additional charges against him from a grand jury.

The South by Southwest festival attracts more than 200,000 people to Austin for a technology conference, film festival and thousands of music performances.

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jhntd727 March 17 2014 at 10:31 PM

I really feel for the families of the victims for what this moron did! But let's face it, there are two others I feel bad for: What if HIS family were decent law abiding people---then you would have to feel for them also, because you can raise children in the best way possible, but let's face it, once they are out of your sight and away from you, the decisions they then make are their own!
AND: I have to feel for the poor hapless court appointed lawyer who has to stand up in court and try and defend this idiot!!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
ALAWHAMMY March 18 2014 at 8:15 AM

If they’re not going to give him the death penalty, then they need to send him to Joe Arpaio’s Tent City Prison in Arizona.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Linda March 18 2014 at 6:54 AM

OMG! I am heartbroken to know people had to die coz of this stupid drunken fool! WHEN WILL PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THAT DRINKING AND DRIVING DO NOT MIX! DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. BETTER YET...JUST DO NOT DRINK!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
big77mgb March 18 2014 at 5:01 AM

sorry ass

Flag Reply +1 rate up
ddbash71054 March 17 2014 at 9:35 PM

Just as bad as guns in the wrong hands... Idiots rule your world, this is a prime example!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
vtmilitia ddbash71054 March 17 2014 at 11:30 PM

What is your world like ?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
kmchafin March 18 2014 at 4:36 AM

Her family has gone through repeated tragedy and now this crushing blow. I wish them peace and comfort.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
DANE March 17 2014 at 10:59 PM

As a father of young adult children, my heart breaks for the families - as we have suffered the loss of an immediate family which should not have (also) happened - way to early. That said, "Love, Light and Healing" to her and her family..... May she and the family find peace in some sort of spiritual way - How ever they may find it - or - beleive...

That said - another piece of Rat SH$t taking the lives of innocent people - who should not be allowed to drive, VOTE, or reproduce, or breath air... will get what's coming to him... Unfortunately, all too late...

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1 reply
ChingOW Mango DANE March 18 2014 at 12:19 AM

So sorry for your loss. It's a pain that is never ending. I wish you ''Love, Light and Healing'' and your family too.

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ChingOW Mango March 18 2014 at 12:16 AM

So sad - I was watching Jimmy Kimmel the entire week the show was in Austin and whenever they went downtown whoever they talked to was drunk. It is bad enough to be stumbling around drunk but driving - something has to be done. That is always the sad thing - these drunk drivers never kill just themselves - there are always innocent people involved.

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Omone Oshiomegie March 18 2014 at 12:44 AM

Maybe Ethan Couch sould get charge with murder man i tell you race plays a role

Flag Reply +1 rate up
billcdaly March 17 2014 at 7:16 PM

On local TV the drivers uncle said he was a good boy.
Until we wake up - see and tell the truth, crime will flourish.
He was NOT a good boy. He was running from the police because of
other warrants and as a 21 year old he has fahtered 6 children.
The black community must stop protecting its own and perpetrating
this type of lie. He was NOT a good boy.

Flag Reply +13 rate up
2 replies
war3saw billcdaly March 17 2014 at 9:34 PM

The driver's grandmother has gone on and on about what a good boy he is She stated that someone else was to blame for his behavior, but she did not say who was to blame. I agree with you. People need to start accepting responsibility for their behavior and for the behavior of their children/grandchildren.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
colorado billcdaly March 18 2014 at 12:00 AM

bill, if he had killed his own black a@@ people, they would be in a 'hang him high mode!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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