Victims of Fatal Auto-Pedestrian Accident Still Seek Damages
Parents of a teenager, Isaiah McLaughlin, are suing a younger teenager, 16-year-old Ethan Couch for a drunk driving car accident that injured McLaughlin on the night of June 15th.
Brian Jennings, the Burleson youth minister and driver, had stopped to help a stranded SUV, shortly after leaving his son’s graduation party on June 15. Isaiah McLaughlin was a passenger of the red Silverado pickup truck along with another youth, Lucas McConnell, whose parents are also suing Couch and his family. Jennings too has filed the suit in Tarrant County Civil Court against Couch.
This is the sixth time they filed a lawsuit against Ethan Couch and his parent, and are seeking damages from the Couch family, Frederick and Tanya Couch. The suit also names Cleburne Metal Works, the Couch's family business, but did not specify an amount.
Ethan Couch'a blood alcohol was at the level of 0.24, more than three times the legal limit. Couch was driving a F350 pickup truck owned by his family’s business, the Cleburne Metal Works. Seven other teens were riding in the pickup, two in the bed of the truck.
Around 11:45 p.m. that June night, Couch's vehicle sped and left the road, hit the stranded sport utility vehicle and smashed into the SUV’s driver and the three people who were trying to help the motorist.
Authorities reported that up to four people were flung from the collision to about 50 - 60 yards. Breanna Mitchell, 24, the driver of the SUV; and Hollie Boyles, 52, and her daughter, Shelby Boyles, 21, who had come from their house nearby to help, were killed at the crash scene. Jennings would be the only survivor.
Couch’s pickup then hit Jennings’ parked Silverado pickup truck with McLaughlin and McConnell inside. The pickup truck went airborne, flipped and crashed into a tree. Isaiah McLaughlin stated that her injuries were “serious” in the statement.
Couch would be sentenced six months later and booked into the Tarrant County juvenile court for up to 10 years of probation and intensive therapy after confessing to fatal wreck.
On Dec. 10, Couch was sentenced by state district Judge Jean Boyd to 10 years probation and intensive therapy after he admitted responsibility to four counts of intoxication manslaughter and two counts of intoxication assault causing serious bodily injury.
Source: Star Telegram, "Family faces another lawsuit from fatal wreck