Drunk Driver Kills 2 People At South By Southwest

Posted at 6:38 AM, Mar 13, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-13 06:38:55-04

AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) (March 13, 2014) — An intoxicated driver fleeing from the police plowed his car into a crowd at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, killing two people, authorities said.

The man and woman killed were riding their light motorcycles, said Art Acevedo, chief of the Austin Police Department. At least 23 others were hospitalized, some with multiple internal injuries.

Before the incident, the driver was going the wrong direction on a one-way street. Authorities attempted to stop the car, but it sped off, almost hitting an officer, according to Acevedo.

The car later ran into the crowd.

“It looked like something out of a movie,” said Russ Barone, who was at the festival. “A few people lying on the street … with their friends around them trying to get them up, trying to get them back to life. Hopefully, they are.”

Barone said the scene was grisly, with people bleeding in the streets.

“I’ve never seen nothing like it. I felt like I was at a war or something,” Barone said. “I was down here for the music … we were having the best time ever. And then it turned into the worst thing I’ve ever seen.”

The suspect is in custody and faces two counts of capital murder, Acevedo said.

Photos and video posted to social media showed people sprawled on the street for about a block with first responders kneeling over them. In one instance, they could be seen performing CPR.

Witnesses speaking on a YouTube video said that a car sped through the crowd, tossing some victims into the air and knocking others down.

South by Southwest is an annual event that features film, interactive and music festivals.

CNN first learned of the incident via posts on Twitter.