Philly.com photographer was on the scene of deadly SXSW car crash

Two people were killed along a busy stretch of venues on Red River street in Austin at the South by Southwest music festival early Thursday after a car crashed through temporary barricades into a crowd of pedestrians. (Colin Kerrigan / Philly.com)

On Thursday, in the wee hours of the morning, a suspected drunk driver plowed through a crowd of people gathered outside of Austin, TX nightclub the Mohawk. A SXSW showcase, featuring rapper Tyler, the Creator, had attracted a large gathering of music fans attending the week-long annual festival. What happened at 12:30 a.m. was a complete shock. A car was speeding down the wrong direction on a one-way street hit a moped, a taxi, a van, and a large group of pedestrians. The driver had broken through a police-monitored festival barricade then drove two more blocks before he reached the site of the accident. As of right now two people have been pronounced dead and 23 people suffered injuries, five of which are critical.

Colin Kerrigan, a Philly.com staff photographer, was visiting the festival and had just left Stubb’s BBQ, located a block from the accident, where he was shooting photos of St. Vincent. “I exited the venue and saw police and cops cars with their lights on everywhere. There didn’t seem to be anyone documenting what was going on so I just started shooting photos.” Kerrigan was one of the first people, if not THE first, to publicly report of the incident, taking to his Twitter account to share an eyewitness photo:

It hasn’t even been 12 hours since the event and Colin’s one tweet attracted the attention of the Washington Post, Huffington Post, the Associated Press (who picked up his photos) and now he’s even getting calls from Piers Morgan Live. “People around me were just shocked and crying. It was total chaos,” he said when I spoke with him this morning over the phone. “I’m working on two or three hours of sleep right now and I feel like I’m in a daze.”

According to Dallas News, the suspected driver will be charged with two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle. The name of the suspect, and those who were killed or injured, have not yet been released. It has not yet been confirmed if the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

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