Boyfriend of teen killed in White River accident talks about crash


by WHAS11

Posted on December 6, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Updated Sunday, Dec 9 at 6:14 AM

(WHAS11) -- The teen charged in connection with a deadly accident that killed his girlfriend is talking from jail and admits what he did was wrong.

Loved ones of Brooke Hawn say she was sweet, outgoing and a typical teen enjoying life.  She had only had her license a month before her car crashed but it was her boyfriend, Tyler Ross, behind the wheel and he says, he couldn't be more sorry.

“I'd rather her still be here, she had a lot more going for her life than I ever have,” Tyler Ross said.

In an interview with WHAS11 Tyler Ross took full responsibility for the crash that killed Brook Hawn just 12 days shy of her 17th birthday.

“It hurts because it's my fault, if I wouldn't have been horsing around she'd still be here,” Ross said.

According to Ross he and Brooke had been dating for a few months; although, her mother had forbidden it because of his many juvenile arrests for burglary.

“I liked her a lot, she made me happy, I loved being around her, she was there when I needed someone to talk to,” Ross said.

On Wednesday night the 18-year-old and his friend went for a ride in her car heading from Seymour to Brownstown.  Tyler was behind the wheel, Brooke was in the passenger seat and his friend was in back. Tyler has never had a driver license.

He admits to doing tricks and driving recklessly, and when he took a curve too fast, he over corrected, flipped the car, and plunged into the White River. He and his friend escaped through windows. But they couldn't free Brooke.

“I tried helping her two times, before I even got out of the car I tried getting her out of the water but I couldn't breathe no more,” Ross said.

Tyler told me he came up for air and spotted his friend bloody and struggling to get to shore. He says he then went back for Brooke.

“But I couldn't breathe so I had to go back up, it killed me but I didn't know what to do,”  Ross said. 

Tyler and his friend ran for help and found Virginia and Bob Smith.

It took at dive team to get the car out of the water and by that time Brooke had died from a combination of hypothermia, blunt force trauma, and water in her lungs.

Tyler hasn't met Brooke’s family and many of whom didn't even know he existed before Wednesday. But he's speaking to them now.

“I'm sorry I never meant for it to happen, if I could take it back I would,” Ross said. “If there is anything I can do to help you guys, I’ll do whatever it takes.”

Tyler Ross is charged with reckless homicide and driving without ever having had a license.