Photo: Paul Hudson from United Kingdom

SxSW Hit And Run Death

On Tuesday (3.12,) the SXSW festival issued a formal statement concerning the fatal incident that took place earlier that morning during the first night of this year’s annual gathering of bands and music industry personnel.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of an individual in downtown Austin following an auto-pedestrian accident that took place shortly after 1:00 am this morning.” “Our thoughts are with all affected by this tragic accident,” read the statement.

Including whether the alleged driver or the victim in the described hit-and-run were attending SXSW, no additional information was available about the incident at the time according to an Austin Police Department spokesperson. The Austin-American Statesman also reported that it was unclear if the people struck were affiliated with SXSW

According to local station Fox 7, police were still searching for the unidentified driver in the crash that left one unnamed pedestrian dead and another injured after they were struck while walking through the intersection of 7th Street and Red River, which is within the SxSW wide footprint. Fox 7 said one of the pedestrians was taken to a local hospital with critical, life-threatening injuries, while the other died at the scene. 

During the 2014 iteration of SxSW, a deadly hit-and-run killed four people and injured 20 in an incident that precipitated increased security and stronger barricades around official events. In that incident the driver was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison. The Statesman reported that a lawsuit filed by one of the families of the deceased claimed the festival could have done more to secure the event, noting that 153 pedestrians had been hit by vehicles during previous SXSWs.

This year’s SXSW is expected to draw 300,000 attendees to downtown Austin during the event that runs from March 8 to 16.

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Author: Al Denté

Photo: Paul Hudson from United Kingdom