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Houston food community rallies to help pastry chef recover from SXSW drunk driver attack

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Gracie N. SXSW crash pastry chef at Mark's American Cuisine March 2014
Gracie Nguyen was injured by a drunk driver at SXSW. YouCaring.com
Gracie Nguyen SXSW crash pastry chef at Mark's American Cuisine March 2014 with award
Gracie Nguyen with chef Mark Cox at the Star Diamond Award celebration dinner.  YouCaring.com
SXSW crash Red River tragedy March 2014
Rashad Charjuan Owens has been charged with two counts of capital murder.  PhotoWizHTX/Twitter
Gracie Nguyen pastry chef at Mark's American Cuisine injured in SXSW crash March 2014 Mark's 15th anniversary cake in April 2012
This cake is an example of Nguyen's work.  Facebook
Gracie N. SXSW crash pastry chef at Mark's American Cuisine March 2014
Gracie Nguyen SXSW crash pastry chef at Mark's American Cuisine March 2014 with award
SXSW crash Red River tragedy March 2014
Gracie Nguyen pastry chef at Mark's American Cuisine injured in SXSW crash March 2014 Mark's 15th anniversary cake in April 2012

Once again, the Houston food community is rallying to help one of its own. 

Gracie Nguyen, a pastry chef at Mark's American Cuisine, was one of 23 people injured last week at the SXSW festival when an accused drunk driver drove through barricades and into a crowd of people. Rashad Charjuan Owens has been charged with two counts of capital murder related to the crime. 

Nguyen remains one of seven people still hospitalized at Austin's University Medical Center Brackenridge while she recovers from  fractures to her skull, left leg and right knee. Fortunately, a Facebook page set up to update supporters on her progress reports that her initial surgeries have gone well and she's on the road to recovery. 

"If you've had the pleasure of meeting Gracie you would immediately love her," Mark's writes on its Facebook page. "She is the definition of Grace from her mannerisms to her work. She is a single mother, talented pastry chef, honor student and all around kind and generous person."

The 23-year old single mother needs help with the medical bills she's incurred, and it isn't yet known when she'll be able to return to the kitchen and resume earning an income. To help defray those expenses, her friends have set up a fundraising page with a $150,000 goal to support her. So far, almost 150 donors have pledged over $16,000 towards the effort.

Keep following the Facebook page for updates on Nguyen's recovery.

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