Last year, the annual South by Southwest festival was marred by tragedy when a car smashed through a barricade, tearing down a crowded street and killing four. Now the Associated Press is reporting that the first round of lawsuits have been filed by the family of one of the victims. Steven Cranmehr, a Dutch music industry executive, was on a bicycle when he was struck and killed by Rashad Charjuan Owens, who allegedly took off from a traffic stop, turning on to Red River Road, which was crowded with people.
The lawsuit alleges that additional traffic safeguards should have been in place, with the lawsuit reading in part “A festival organizer or traffic design consultant of ordinary intelligence would have anticipated the danger.”
For their part, SXSW have released a statement that avoided the claims, expressing grief for the families:
“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.”
2015’s SXSW will take place from March 17-22.