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Victim in "affluenza" teen's fatal DWI crash speaks out

The family of Ethan Couch (pictured) will pay $2 million to Sergio E. Molina, who was one of 12 injured in a drunken-driving wreck. CBS News

TARRAT COUNTY, Texas - One of the two teens who was riding in the back of then-16-year-old Ethan Couch's pickup truck when he struck and killed four pedestrians is speaking out for the first time, saying he didn't realize how drunk Couch was the night of the crash, reports CBS DFW.

The case drew national attention after Couch's attorneys argued that his wealthy parents coddled him into a sense of irresponsibility, which one witness termed "affluenza." In February, Couch was sentenced to 10 years probation but received no prison time.

Solaiman Mohmand, who was injured in the collision, sat quietly in court Thursday morning next to his father. The family was waiting for a Tarrant County Judge to finalize a settlement with Couch's family.

Thinking back to the night of the June 2013 crash, Mohmand recalled, "I would blame Ethan just because we were all drinking that night. We didn't know, I didn't know how much... how drunk he [Couch] was."

Couch's blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit and there were traces of Valium in his system when the wreck occurred. The crash threw Sergio Molina, the other teen who was in the back of his pickup truck, from the truck bed and left him paralyzed; he can now only communicate by blinking.

 

"It's just hard for me. Really stressful," Mohmand said.

Mohmand says he had just met Couch the night of the crash through another friend.

"We were at Ethan's guesthouse and we were planning to go to, I think, to get food or something," he said.

Mohmand said he doesn't remember much, but his father says his body was found about 30 feet away from the pickup. He had a broken vertebra and sternum, and his lungs had collapsed.

"My limit was at a .08 and I thought he [Couch] had drank as much as I did. I guess before he left he had chugged a bottle of liquor," Mohmand said.

After more than a year, Mohmand's family reached a settlement with the Couch family. He will be getting $350,000, which will cover medical expenses and also part of his college costs, reports the station.

Mohmand, a junior in high school, says the settlement is far from closure.

"Until Sergio is getting better that's whenever it's going to get over for me," he said, adding, "Because Sergio is still laying down, paralyzed, and is not able to talk or move."

Mohmand said he blames himself for going to the party. He feels that he was lucky and is grateful his injuries weren't more severe.

"I'll always have pain in my back," he said. "I guess I have a second chance at life," he told CBS DFW.

Couch's family has now settled six civil lawsuits stemming from the crash -- including Mohmand's. In May, the family agreed to pay $1.64 million in cash to a trust established for Molina.

  • Crimesider Staff

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