Family mourns loss of woman killed in SXSW crash

AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin woman and her husband were riding on their moped when a car slammed into them early Thursday morning at 11th and Red River during South by Southwest.

Jamie West, 27, was killed in the crash. Her husband, Evan, survived, but is still in the hospital. He was in serious condition at University Medical Center Brackenridge on Friday.

“Jamie was a genuine person, a kind and loving young woman,” said Jane Chrysostom, the couple’s aunt. She spoke with KXAN News over the phone from Canada. “It’s just a devastating, senseless loss.”

Chrysostom is trying to cope with the crash that killed her niece and left her nephew fighting for his life.

“They enjoyed the outdoors together,” she said. “They enjoyed their pets and lifestyle and the future they had together.”

She says the crash left her in shock and has her wondering how this could happen to two people, still so young, and about to celebrate their second wedding anniversary.

Jamie and Evan spent their first anniversary last July with her in Canada.

“She was a true ray of sunshine for our family,” Chrysostom said. “She was a newlywed and a far reaching creative person.”

Jamie worked at a local jewelry boutique in Austin. Her aunt says the two met while living in Indiana and moved to Central Texas to be closer to family. Evan’s brother lives in Houston.

“Those who have been able to gather together are supporting each other,” she said. “They have a long road ahead of them of recovery and grief.”

The owner of Leighelena, where Jamie worked, released the following statement Friday:
“It is with heavy hearts that we inform you of the loss of our dear colleague and friend, Jamie West, due to the tragic event that took place on March 13th at SXSW. We are deeply saddened by her sudden passing and the nature of the accident. Jamie was an extremely talented and creative artist. She was bright, friendly and kind and brought us an unbelievable amount of joy. We are forever thankful for the time we had with her. The Leighelena family misses her dearly and we are keeping Jamie¹s friends and family, especially her husband Evan West, in our thoughts and prayers.”

The crash also killed 35-year-old Steven Craenmehr of the Netherlands. He was visiting Austin for SXSW.

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