Alcohol Was Factor In Fatal Crash Near Burleson
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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Investigators continued to take pictures along a gruesome accident scene on Monday afternoon, which stretched hundreds of feet down Burleson Retta Road in south Fort Worth.
Sixteen people were involved in the multi-vehicle accident that, according to police, started when Breanna Mitchell lost control of her white SUV and ended up in a ditch. A mother and her daughter, 42-year-old Hollie Boyles and 21-year-old Shelby Boyles, went to help Mitchell.
A youth pastor for Alsbury Baptist Church, 43-year-old Brian Jennings, also stopped to help. All four people — Mitchell, Jennings and the Boyles — were struck and killed by a red pickup truck driven by 17-year-old Ethan Couch.
Two children, 12-year-old Lucas McConnell and 13-year-old Isaiah McLaughlin, were inside Jennings’ truck, but were not injured. Friends of Jennings said that they weren’t surprised at all to hear that he died helping someone else. He was known for his ability to make wayward teens feel cherished, valued and, according to friends, “had a real gift for reaching out to kids who kind of have a hard time fitting in.”
A red Volkswagen was also involved in the fatal crash, although police aren’t exactly sure how, or what caused the collision. Eighteen-year-old Ashlyn Peyton and 14-year-old Peyton Alan were in the Volkswagen.
“It’s terrible for everybody involved, including the people that caused the accident,” said Kay Ward, who lives in the neighborhood.
Couch and the other teenagers in his red truck were at a party earlier in the day where alcohol was served. Inside of Couch’s truck were 15-year-old Soliman Mohmand, 19-year-old Avery Rich, 16-year-old Garrett Ballard, 15-year-old Starr Teague, 15-year-old Sergio Molina, 15-year-old Jacob Goodsell and 15-year-old Christian Victoria.
Several of the teens in the pickup truck knew each other from high schools in the Keller Independent School District. Other friends of the teens involved are trying to arrange a charity soccer tournament for Friday at 1:00 p.m. at Central High School. Their plan is to raise money for some of the teens still in the hospital.
It’s expected that Couch will face charges. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is working on the case to determine where the alcohol at the party came from. The person or people who supplied it could also face charges.
The crash has also focused new attention on the road itself. “I think it’s dangerous at nighttime. There are a lot of blind corners,” said area resident Elliot Hughes. “An inexperienced driver, or if you’re under the influence of something, your not going to have a chance to stop. They need some lights out there or something.”
A Tarrant County commissioner said that a safety investigation would likely be launched this week, out of an abundance of caution.
A memorial service for Brian Jennings will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19 at Venue 510, located at 510 Wilshire in Burleson.
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