AUSTIN (KXAN) — Dozens of people stopped by St. David’s Episcopal Church downtown for a vigil to remember the two killed in hit-and-run crash and pray for those still hospitalized.
Father Bob, the Reverend Robert Gribble, prayed for God to welcome the departed, and console the grieving.
Many here didn’t know the deceased but came out of respect, like Clara Swearingen, praying for the memory of fellow Austinite Jamie West.
“It is so sad,” Swearingen said.
And two men from the Netherlands. They didn’t know Steven Craenmehr, but they were countrymen.
“It is our first trip to Austin and it happened a few hours later,” said Freddie Weima., who didn’t know Steven. “Butt he is a fellow countryman.”
“It is very sad,” said Syb Groenbele. “A man here for love of his work and entertainment, and it is especially tragic.”
Through it all, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo forgot his chief’s badge for a moment, and became consoler in chief.
Acevedo says between the police, the barricades and all the planning, nothing could have prevented this inconceivable tragedy.
“You can’t have complete assurance, only the preventable,” he said. “Even with bridges across the sidewalk, someone with intent…you can’t guarantee it 100 percent.”
Acevedo says the act of one man will not dampen the spirit of this city and it’s guests and that the spirit of South By Southwest will carry on. The wounded will be healed, the guilty punished, and we will never forget.”