UPDATE: Cornwall couple escapes injury after vehicle plows through crowd at Texas festival

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CORNWALL, Ontario - A Cornwall couple escaped serious injury and perhaps even death after being allowed into an Austin, Texas concert venue early, just minutes before a vehicle plowed through a crowd of people outside.

Dave Clark and his wife Natasha Scott are attending South by Southwest, a popular festival in Texas that features a number of bands and artists.

The couple and some friends were outside the House of Vans venue Wednesday night waiting to enter when Clark decided to ask the doorman if they could enter early.

Thank god he did.

Within an hour a man, believed to be impaired who had just sped away from police, piled into the very same crowd where Clark and Scott had been standing. Two people were killed and dozens were injured - some critically.

Clark said the reality of their situation was still settling in 24 hours later.

"It's still kinda surreal," he said.

He had thanks for the doorman who allowed them into the venue, and "prayers for the people who got hurt outside.

"(The doorman) might have saved our lives."

The Austin American-Statesman reported a man sped down a street crowded with South by Southwest festival-goers, leaving a horrific trail of injured pedestrians over two blocks before hitting a taxi and a parked van.

Twenty-three people were taken to hospitals. Two remain in critical condition with severe head injuries. Six others also remained hospitalized Thursday afternoon, including three in serious condition with injuries that include a spinal fracture, head injuries and other problems.

During South By Southwest, Austin’s downtown streets fill with people moving between multiple bars and venues to see bands and other artists perform.

The American-Statesman reported the driver — identified as Rashad Charjuan Owens — was struck with a police taser and arrested as he tried to flee the carnage on foot. He was treated for minor injuries and released into police custody, where he will face two charges of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle.

Geographic location: Cornwall, Texas, Ontario

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  • Peter Marks
    March 13, 2014 - 18:06

    What? What? This article makes no sense! SXSW is huge covering 100+ city blocks. So this couple was let into a venue and an hour later the accident happened. Where was the venue? Was it even close to the accident? The people hit were those crossing or walking down the closed street. Whos to say this couple would have still been in the area and even so that they would have been in the street.