Four dead. Nine injured. Eight teenagers in one truck.

The crash in far south Tarrant County in the early hours of Sunday morning was tragic, and the response was chaotic.

The investigation is methodical and meticulous.

This is a real hard case with everyone involved, explained Trent Loftin, a former Tarrant County juvenile prosecutor. He also worked in the district attorney's office in Fort Worth for five years.

It doesn't surprise him that several days have passed without charges being filed.

This case is not proceeding any different if it involved a 16- or 60-year-old, he said. They're going to make sure they get it right, because if they mess it up now it'll be messed up at court later on, he said.

Police say a 16-year-old boy named Ethan Couch was driving the pickup truck that hit and killed the four people standing beside a broken down SUV on Burleson Retta Road.

Because he is 16, Couch is considered a juvenile in the state of Texas, but investigators say alcohol likely played a role. So Loftin says the DA is likely waiting on toxicology results before deciding how to proceed.

It's clear and cut until you're 17 you start the process in the juvenile system. It won't always end that way, he said. If the teenager is charged, a judge would determine if he should be certified to stand trial as an adult.

Loftin said prosecutors are also likely trying to gain a clear picture from witnesses and victims about the hours and minutes before the crash.

They're weighing a bunch of different options, doing their due diligence. And if there's charges to be brought, I can guarantee you this DA will do it, he said.


Read or Share this story: