Trimble Tech grad dies of injuries from SXSW crash

Posted Friday, Mar. 28, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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A 2013 Trimble Tech High School graduate has died of injuries sustained two weeks ago when an apparent drunken driver plowed through a South by Southwest crowd on a downtown Austin street.

DeAndre Tatum, called Dre, 18, had been in critical condition at University Medical Center Brackenridge since he was hit on March 13.

The Fort Worth teenager was the fourth person hit who has died.

Twenty-one others were injured, including Tatum’s girlfriend, Curtisha “Tish” Davis, 18. Davis has broken bones but was released from the hospital last week.

The Travis County medical examiner’s office declined to provide information about Tatum’s death, including time and date, and the cause and manner of his death. His mother declined to speak to a Star-Telegram reporter Thursday afternoon.

Davis, a cheerleader at Trimble Tech, tweeted: “Rip to My love im really goin threw it. Im stuck n lost of words.”

A friend, Chasten King, said Davis called him with the news early Thursday afternoon. He said that he thought he was prepared for the worst, but the death shocked him, nevertheless.

“He was strong — a strong young man,” King said. “I don’t think stuff like this should happen to strong people. I know death is going to come up to everybody; I just think it was too early for him to go.

“I ask why, but there’s nothing I can do about it. I guess God just takes the soldiers he wants to come up and fight for him.”

Rashad Charjuan Owens, 21, remains in the Travis County Jail with bail set at $3 million. Austin police have said they will pursue charges of capital murder and aggravated assault with a motor vehicle, but Travis County prosecutors have not taken the case to a grand jury.

Authorities said Owens was fleeing from police when he crashed into a partying crowd on Red River Street about 12:30 a.m.

Owens’ blood-alcohol content was 0.114, over the legal limit of 0.08, his arrest warrant said.

Jamie Ranae West, 27, and Sandy Le, 26, of Austin and Steven Craenmehr, 35, of the Netherlands were also killed.

An announcement of Tatum’s death was emailed Thursday to Tech school employees. A school district spokesman said counselers are available for students.

Two other Tech students were also in Austin for the festival. One was treated for injuries and released, and the other was unhurt.

Staff writer Bill Miller contributed to this report.

Caty Hirst, 817-390-7984 Twitter: @catyhirst

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