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SXSW Victims' Benefit Set for May 1 at Heartland Cafe

  Evan and Jamie West, former Rogers Park residents, were among those struck by a car at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas,  on March 13.
Evan and Jamie West
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ROGERS PARK — The Red Line Tap and Heartland Cafe announced the date and band lineup of a benefit to raise money for Evan West, who was seriously injured in last month's crash at the South By Southwest Music festival.

West's wife, Jamie, was killed in the crash. She was 27.

The benefit is planned for 7 p.m. May 1. Rogers Park's Twin Peaks will be playing at the Heartland, while The Red Line Disaster, The Polkaholics and Can I Get An Amen will play at the Red Line Tap. It will raise money for West's recovery and his wife's funeral.

Tickets are for sale online for $10.

Evan and Jamie West's love was rooted in Rogers Park. They both spent time working at the Tap and Heartland before moving to Texas in 2010.

"There were really sweet together. They balanced each other out really well," said Rogers Park's Sarah Skinner, who was a close friend of the couple. "It was obvious to everyone ... they stick together like puzzle pieces."

But on March 13, the couple's life together ended when authorities said a drunken driver slammed into crowd of revelers at Austin's South By Southwest festival, killing Jamie and critically injuring Evan.

Friends, family and supporters from around the country have rallied to raise money to help pay for medical care and funeral arraignments.

"It was surreal; I couldn’t even believe it," said Skinner of when she heard her friends had been among the 22 injured and three killed. "We were all heartbroken. Jamie was lovely, and we all loved Evan — and they were in love."

Evan and Jamie West were sitting on their motorcycle at an intersection early on March 13 when they allegedly were struck by Rashad Charjuan Owens, who police say evaded a traffic stop and had a blood-alcohol content of 0.11.  Police caught him, and he faces capital murder charges, according to media reports.

Jamie West died at the scene. She was 27.

Evan West, 28, suffered head trauma, a broken leg and ribs and internal injuries to his organs, his family said.