Ethan Couch crash: Teen three times over legal alcohol limit 'killed four and injured 12' in four-car pile up after an hours-long drinking session with cases of beer stolen from Walmart

By Staff K 0

  • Ethan Couch, 16, from Keller, Texas, and seven friends had been drinking for hours before the June 15 wreck
  • Killed four people who were standing by a broken down vehicle on the roadside and injured 12 others in horrific crash
  • Couch hasn't been charged yet but was 'extremely intoxicated' and is likely to face vehicular manslaughter charges in the juvenile court
  • Father-of-three Brian Jennings, a youth minister, mother-and-daughter Hollie and Shelby Boyles, and Breanna Mitchell, 24, were killed

By Helen Pow

PUBLISHED: 09:06 EST, 10 July 2013 | UPDATED: 09:38 EST, 10 July 2013

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A Texas teenager was three times over the legal alcohol limit and speeding when he slammed into four people on a roadside, killing them, and injuring 12 others, police say.

Ethan Couch, 16, of Keller, and seven friends had been drinking for hours before the June 15 wreck and some of them were even caught on surveillance video stealing two cases of beer from a nearby Walmart.

At around 11:45 p.m., the intoxicated teens piled into a red Ford F350 pick-up and were barelling down Burleson-Retta Road in southern Tarrant County when Couch left the road and clipped a broken down SUV, throwing the owner and four good Samaritans, who were trying to help, 60 yards in the air. They were killed on impact.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson revealed that Couch's blood-alcohol level was 0.24 - three times the limit - and that his truck was traveling up to 70 mph when it started the chain reaction of crashes.

Victims: Brian Jennings, 41, pictured right, and Breanna Mitchell, left, were both killed in the horrific crash

'(The driver) was extremely intoxicated, obviously,' Anderson said, according to The Star Telegram, adding that the 16-year-old is the focus of the vehicular manslaughter investigation and will probably be the only one charged, though he hasn't been yet.

'It is a something that was completely preventable. Something that, because a group of people made some very, very bad decisions, four totally innocent people lost their lives. There is just no other way to say it.'

Anderson said the teens stole two cases of beer from a Walmart in Burleson about an hour before the crash and prior to that, they tried, unsuccessfully, to buy alcohol at a convenience store.

The group had only traveled two blocks when their speeding vehicle came off the road and clipped the SUV belonging to Breanna Mitchell, 24, and plowed into Mitchell, Brian Jennings, 41, Hollie Boyles, 52, and her daughter, Shelby Boyles, 21.

Jennings, a Burleson youth minister, had stopped to help Mitchell, whose vehicle had a flat tire, and Boyles and her daughter had come out of their nearby house to assist. The SUV and all four victims were standing off the roadway.

They were thrown 60 yards by the force of the speeding vehicle, investigators found.

Scene: 911 callers described cars everywhere and kids' lying in ditches'

Scene: 911 callers described cars everywhere and kids' lying in ditches' after the June 15 smash

Injured: Two young men, Soliman Mohmand, right, and Sergio Molina, left, who were in Couch's truck were injured. One remains in critical condition

The red pick-up then struck Jennings' parked Silverado pickup, where two boys were inside, waiting for him. The boys were among those injured.

The impact sent Couch's pickup flying and it crashed into a tree. None of the drunken teens in the truck were wearing seat belts and two ended up in the tray of the vehicle, Anderson said, according to the Telegram. Soliman Mohmand and Sergio Molina were seriously injured and one remains in critical condition.

The Silverado was pushed into a Volkswagen Beetle, which was being driven by Ashlyn Evans, 18.

She and her 14-year-old passenger were also injured.

The Telegram reported that 911 callers described mangled vehicles and kids 'lying in ditches.'

Tragic: Jennings, pictured second from left, was a father of three and a youth minister in Burleson

Tragic: Jennings, pictured second from left, was a father of three and a youth minister in Burleson

Crash: One of four vehicles involved in the crash was send flying into a tree

Crash: One of four vehicles involved in the crash was send flying into a tree

'I truly believe this is probably the most difficult accident scene we've ever had to work, for a lot of reasons,' Anderson said. 'It was a tremendously trying job for the people who showed up to have four people killed instantly at the scene.

'Almost immediately upon it happening, some family members of the victims came upon the scene. You can imagine how traumatic it was for (them).'

Couch has yet to be charged and Tarrant County District Attorney refused to speculate on possible charges. The sheriff said, however, he expects the driver will be charged in juvenile court and added 'I'm confident the case is strong.'

Last month, WFAA revealed the June 15 wreck wasn't the first time underage drinking had got Couch in trouble.

On February 19, police in the Town of Lakeside, northwest of Fort Worth, found Couch with a 12-ounce can of beer and a 1.75-liter bottle of vodka in the early hours and gave him two citations - one for being a minor in possession of alcohol, the other for consuming alcohol as a minor.

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