AUSTIN, Texas – A third person struck by a suspected drunken driver in Austin last week during the South By Southwest festival died Monday, police and family said.
Sandy Thuy Le, 26, died from the injuries she sustained when she was run over outside The Mohawk music club early Thursday, Austin police spokeswoman Veneza Bremner said.
Police say the driver, Rashad Owens, was fleeing police when he crashed through a barricade and accelerated his car into a crowd in Austin’s Red River Entertainment District, killing two people at the scene and injuring 21 others.
Le had been listed in critical condition since she was struck. Dr. Christopher Ziebell, the emergency department director at the University Medical Center-Brackenridge, had said the two most critically injured patients suffered life-threatening head injuries.
Stuart Gates, Le’s brother-in-law, said she was surrounded by friends and family when she died Monday morning. She came from a Vietnamese-American shrimping family that had lost their home in Hurricane Katrina and had to stop working during the BP gulf oil spill.
“She was super-intelligent, one of those types that never let college get in the way of her education,” he said, adding that she had moved to Austin three years ago to finish her college degree. “She was a brilliant person, a wonderful personality and bubbly in a fun way, real outgoing. A live life to the fullest type.”
Gates said Le’s family was praying and offering support to the family of the other critically injured victim, DeAndre Tatum. They planned a funeral for Le in her hometown of Pass Christian, Miss., on Saturday.
The victims who died Thursday were Steven Craenmehr, a 35-year-old Dutchman who was on a bicycle, and 27-year-old Jamie West of Austin, who was riding on a moped when the car plowed into her.
Five of the injured remained hospitalized Monday at University Medical Center, including one person in critical condition and two in serious condition, spokeswoman Kendra Clawson said. Two other patients remained hospitalized elsewhere.
Owens, 21, has been charged with capital murder and aggravated assault with a motor vehicle. He’s accused of driving drunk and fleeing from police, then intentionally driving into the festivalgoers. The aspiring rapper from Killeen has been jailed on $3 million bond, and prosecutors are expected to seek additional charges against him from a grand jury.
The South by Southwest festival attracts more than 200,000 people to Austin for a technology conference, film festival and thousands of music performances.