Head of Houston investment firm one of two dead in Sunday boat crash


The head of a prominent Houston-based investment firm was one of two people killed before dawn Sunday in a boat crash on Lake Austin.

Shawn Hurwitz, CEO of Maxxam Inc., which works in forest products and real estate development and owns half of Sam Houston Race Park, was among five people on the vessel reported to have struck a barge. A second victim, believed to be a woman in her 20s, remained unidentified Sunday.

Three others were taken to a hospital with injuries not considered to be life-threatening, officials said.

In a statement issued hours after the wreck, J. Kent “Kenny” Friedman, a family friend, said Hurwitz’s “generous spirit and huge heart touched so many people over the years that this news will be devastating to people across the state and nation.”

“We don’t have a lot of details at this time and ask for a degree of privacy as his loving family and friends mourn this tragic loss,” Friedman said. “Please keep the Hurwitz family and the families of the others involved in the accident in your hearts and prayers in the days ahead.”

Authorities on Sunday continued to investigate the boat crash; it was unclear whether speed was a factor.

Hurwitz, 50, was pronounced dead at the scene near Emma Long Metropolitan Park in the 1500 block of Manana Street in West Austin about 6:15 a.m., about an hour after the incident was reported, said Cmdr. Mike Benavides, spokesman for Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services.

The second victim was taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge, where she died several hours later.

Hurwitz took over Maxxam in 2007, replacing his father, Charles Hurwitz, who remained CEO and chairman of Maxxam’s board of directors.

Shawn Hurwitz also was deeply committed to the Knowledge Is Power Program, or KIPP, where he served as chairman emeritus of the board for KIPP’s eight schools in Houston.

He was a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and had an MBA from the University of Texas.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Candlelight vigil held for Alabama Taco Bell that burned down
Candlelight vigil held for Alabama Taco Bell that burned down

Customers who frequent a Taco Bell in Alabama held a candlelight vigil after a Montgomery franchise was destroyed by fire last week, WSFA reported. The vigil was held Sunday night outside the restaurant and approximately 100 people attended, WFSA reported. According to Montgomery Fire/Rescue, the Taco Bell on Zelda Road partially collapsed...
LBJ presidential library reopens after government shutdown ends
LBJ presidential library reopens after government shutdown ends

After a three-day federal government shutdown ended late Monday, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library in Austin will reopen at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. The reading room, museum and museum store will resume operations. The library, which is administered by the National Archives, was among several entities and agencies that receive...
Michigan man arrested for threatening to murder CNN employees
Michigan man arrested for threatening to murder CNN employees

A Michigan man was arrested for threatening to come to CNN’s Atlanta headquarters and murder employees, according to a CBS46 report. The FBI arrested the man after he made 22 calls to CNN about a week ago. The story did not identify who he was. He accused CNN of “fake news” and said he was going down to Georgia “right now...
Florida college student says man tried to touch her leg in on-campus parking garage
Florida college student says man tried to touch her leg in on-campus parking garage

Police at the University of Central Florida are warning students to be on their guard after a woman said a man tried to assault her in a campus parking garage Monday. UCF police said a woman who attends the university was approached around 6 p.m. by an unknown man who asked for help with his car in Garage C.  During the exchange, the man...
'Tide Pod Challenge' causes some retailers to lock up product
'Tide Pod Challenge' causes some retailers to lock up product

The viral challenge that involves people filming themselves biting into laundry detergent pods is causing some retailers to take security measures to prevent people from shoplifting the product, WTSP reported. The so-called Tide Pod Challenge has prompted a warning from U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which said ingesting the pods...
More Stories