Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

October 2, 2013

3rd lawsuit filed in Burleson wreck

The mother of a woman killed in a June 15 multi-vehicle crash on Burleson-Retta Road has filed suit against the parents of the 16-year-old boy who was driving the truck that caused the accident.

It is the third civil suit stemming from the wreck to be filed against Fred and Tanya Couch and the company they own, Cleburne Metal Works. All three lawsuits have included the company as a defendant because the truck Ethan Couch was driving was registered to Cleburne Metal Works.

Ethan Couch faces four counts of intoxication manslaughter and two counts of intoxication assault. The criminal case against him is set to go to trial in a Tarrant County juvenile court in November.

Breanna Mitchell, 24, was driving west on Burleson-Retta Road shortly before midnight on June 15, when a blow-out sent her Mercury Mountaineer swerving into the ditch on the shoulder of the road. Brian Jennings, 41, youth pastor at Burleson’s Alsbury Baptist Church, stopped to help Mitchell. Holli Boyles, 52, and her daughter, Shelby Boyles, 21, had walked over from their home nearby to help, too.

Ethan Couch, driving a Ford F350 pickup west on Burleson-Retta Road allegedly left the road and struck Mitchell’s vehicle before hitting Jennings and the three women, who were standing nearby, killing all four.

Couch and the seven teenagers in his truck were all taken to area hospitals with varying degrees of injuries. Two youngsters in Jennings’ pickup were taken by ambulance to Cook Children’s Medical Center but were not seriously injured.

According to the lawsuit filed Monday in Tarrant County civil court, Marla Mitchell was on her way to pick up her daughter and was talking on the phone with Breanna when the accident happened. Marla Mitchell arrived at the scene of the accident shortly after to find her daughter and the three people who had come to her aid lying dead amid the wreckage.

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