Donations pour in for crash victims as SXSW 2014 comes to an end


AUSTIN  (KXAN) — Thousands of out-of-town SXSW guests will pack their bags in the morning and head home. While attendees say they had a lot of fun — some also witnessed a tragedy they won’t forget.

The Austin group “Please Be Kind to Cyclists” was planning to hold a vigil on Saturday night, but due to all the crowds and the concerts in the area the event was postponed until Sunday.

“Please Be Kind to Cyclists” says they were planning to place a “ghost bike” at the crash site in memory of Steven Craenmehr. Craenmehr was killed while riding his bicycle on Red River Thursday morning.

On Saturday, SXSW attendees were enjoying their last big night, but this year’s festival hasn’t totally been care free.

“I shed a few tears when I walked by the flowers,” said Amanda Kuldanek, visiting from London.

After the crash Thursday, clothing and shoe company ,Van’s has collected $20,000 dollars in donations for the victims of the crash. All the proceeds from their pop-up store on Red River were given to the website SXSWCares.

Kuldanek says the tragic crash at SXSW 2014 is an event she’ll never forget.

“The Austin Police did a great job handling all that, “said Kuldanek. “It’s just an unfortunate tragedy that could happen anywhere. I mean I feel safe, I don’t feel unsafe here.”

On Saturday, hip-hop artist Tyler The Creator was arrested for causing a riot during one of his concerts.

“There’s been some weird stuff this year, said Jared Hennessy, visiting from Arkansas. “There’s been some rioting, and people being arrested.”

But despite the serious events surrounding this years festival — SXSW-goers say they’re sad to see it coming to an end.

“Our love goes out to all those families and I think everyone has rallied around that and the fest is living on,” said Hennessy.

Outside of The Mohawk on Red River, a memorial continues to grow with flowers and notes of condolences for the victims and their families.

The vigil planned by “Please Be Kind to Cyclists”  has been postponed to Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

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