Travis County judge dismisses 2014 SXSW crash lawsuit

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Photo Credit: Caleb Kuntz | Daily Texan Staff

Nearly two years after a 2014 crash that killed four people and injured 20 others during the international music festival South By Southwest, a Travis County judge has dismissed cases against the festival, the city of Austin and other defendants, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

The suit began as six separate lawsuits that were eventually combined into one and is the largest case that arose from the 2014 incident. The suit claims that festival organizers did not do enough to prevent incidents like this and protect festival-goers, according to the Statesman.

Rashad Owens, 23, was fleeing from an officer when he eventually crashed through barricades and crowds of people as they walked through Red River Street. It was later revealed that Owens was intoxicated well over the legal limit at the time of the crash.

Jamie West, 27, and Steven Craenmehr, 35 died at the crash site. DeAndre Tatum, 18, and Sandy Le, 26, died in the days following.

“SXSW has the deepest sympathy for the victims and all affected by Rashad Owens’s crimes,” said SXSW attorney Peter D. Kennedy in a statement in the Statesman Friday. “We appreciate the court’s attention to this matter, and we will continue to look to the judicial system to resolve the few remaining cases.”

Judge Karin Crump did not disclose the reasons behind her decision to dismiss the case, filed by six plaintiffs that included festival-goers who were injured during the crash as well as the family members of those who died, according to the Statesman.

Owens was found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2015.