SXSW sued by families of fatal car crash victims

The first wave of lawsuits have been filed following the fatal crash at South by South West festival in March.

The lawsuits accuse SXSW organisers of safety lapses after a truck driver ploughed into a crowd of concertgoers. The suits filed on December 18 in San Antionio, Texas, are the first since the incident, which killed four people and injured nearly two dozen.

Truck driver Rashad Owens, an aspiring rapper who police say drove his car through a street barricade after fleeing from police officers attempting a traffic stop, has been jailed on capital murder charges since the crash.

Victims’ families allege that festival organisers skimped on traffic safeguards while cramming people into downtown Austin to see more than 2,000 live acts.

“A festival organizer or traffic design consultant of ordinary intelligence would have anticipated the danger,” the lawsuit says.

Lawyers for the once obscure Texas festival released a statement regarding the incident but did not address the claims in the lawsuit.

“What happened on Red River was a terrible tragedy, caused by Rashad Owen’s utter disregard of human life. Our hearts continue to ache for those injured and the families of those who lost their lives. We look forward to his prosecution for his awful crimes,” the statement read.

Next year’s SXSW festival is scheduled to begin on March 17. [via ABC News]



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