SXSW crash victim had moved to Austin to finish college degree

This handout photo courtesy of the Le family shows Sandy Thuy Le. On Monday, March 17, 2014, Le became the third person to die after being struck by a suspected drunken driver in Austin last week during the South By Southwest festival Austin police spokeswoman Veneza Bremner said.(AP Photo/Le Family)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Last week’s deadly crash into a South by Southwest crowd in Downtown Austin claimed the life of a third person Monday morning, according to the victim’s family.

Sandy Thuy Le, 26, of Austin, died from injuries she sustained in the crash. Le had been in critical condition at University Medical Center Brackenridge, and a website was set up to help her family with costs for the funeral.

Stuart Gates, Le’s brother-in-law, said she was surrounded by friends and family when she died Monday morning. She came from a Vietnamese-American shrimping family that have had numerous obstacles in the past few years.

“They lost their house in Hurricane Katrina, and the BP oil spill punched their livelihood in the gut,” said Gates. “They also lost an uncle out to sea in July who was never found.”

“She was super intelligent, one of those types that never let college get in the way of her education,” he said, adding that she had moved to Austin three years ago to finish her college degree. “She was a brilliant person, a wonderful personality and bubbly in a fun way, real outgoing. A live-life-to-the-fullest type.”

Gates said Le’s family was praying and offering support to the family of the other critically injured victim, DeAndre Tatum. They planned a funeral for Le in her hometown of Pass Christian, Miss., on Saturday.

Five of the injured remained hospitalized Monday at UMCB, including one person in critical condition and two in serious condition, spokeswoman Kendra Clawson said. Two other patients remained hospitalized elsewhere.

The crash also killed Austinite Jamie West, 27, and Steven Craenmehr, 35, of the Netherlands. He was visiting Austin for SXSW and was on his bicycle when he got hit.

West was a moped with her husband when she was hit and killed early Thursday morning. Her husband, Evan, survived and is at UMCB. His condition has been upgraded from serious to fair.

In all, six people are still in the hospital — including two in critical condition — after a suspected drunken driver plowed into a SXSW crowd just outside Mohawk in Downtown Austin.

Police say most of the 23 people hurt were treated and released following the crash on a crowded block filled with concertgoers.

On Sunday, a spokesperson for Seton Healthcare said DeAndre Tatum remains in critical condition, and Gracie Nguyen is in serious condition at UMCB. Joseph McCraney and Curtisha Davis remain hospitalized in good condition.

One victim is in fair condition at St. David’s Medical Center.

Charged with capital murder in the crash that killed two people and hurt 23 others, Rashad Charjuan Owens’ court date has been set for April 9 — just four days shy of one month since the incident.

Rickey Jones is Owens’ listed attorney.

Officials charged Owens, 21, on Friday with capital murder, and his bond is set at $3 million. His blood-alcohol content following the crash was 0.114, according to an arrest affidavit. The legal limit in Texas is 0.08.

Owens had previously been charged with DUI and leaving the scene of a 2011 incident in Alaska. He was also arrested in Bell County, Texas in 2012.

Sequence of events

Information from the Associated Press was included in this report. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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