SXSW Car Crash: Suspect, Victim Identified

Rashad Charjuan Owens

Courtesy of Bell County Sheriff’s Office

Rashad Charjuan Owens, 21, has been identified as the driver who allegedly killed two people and injured 23 others during Austin’s SXSW festival Wednesday night.

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Austin police released the following report of the incident: “The preliminary investigation shows that an Austin Police Officer attempted to make a traffic stop at a Shell gas station at 9th Street and IH-35 service road. The suspect vehicle did not stop and continued traveling westbound at a high rate of speed on 9th Street (the wrong way). When the suspect, Rashad Charjuan Owens, black male, D.O.B. 9-30-1992, continued to increase his speed, the Officer followed him. Owens continued driving at a high rate of speed, turning right onto Red River Street, which was barricaded off for pedestrian traffic only for the SXSW Festival. The suspect crashed through the barricades, hitting several pedestrians on Red River Street between 9th and 11th Streets. Another Austin Police Officer who was on foot near the scene had to jump out of the way of the suspect vehicle. At the intersection of Red River and 11th Streets, the suspect hit a moped, a taxi cab and a bicyclist. At some point, the suspect’s vehicle drove onto a sidewalk and also struck a van. Owens then took off on foot and two Austin Police Officers pursued him on foot, tased him and took him into custody.

Owens faces two counts of capital murder and multiple counts of aggravated assault with a Motor Vehicle. Formal charges are still pending.

Additonally, Steven Craenmehr, 35, has been identified as one of the two individuals killed in the accident. Based in Amsterdam, he was creative director for MassiveMusic, an international music agency network with offices in New York, Shanghai, and London.

MassiveMusic confirmed the news on their official website and on their Facebook page.

"During the 8 years that Steven worked for MassiveMusic, we got to know him as an unstoppable force, full of life, love and laughter," reads the post. "This is an irreplaceable loss for the MassiveMusic family and we are grateful for the years we spent with him. Our thoughts are with Steven's family and friends." According to Craenmehr's Twitter bio, he was also a musician, composer, lead singer, and guitarist; it appears at some point he was a member of Dutch pop-rock outfit Perneau.

MassiveMusic declined a request to say more than their official statement.