Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-04-17 02:54:16 GMT
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JACKSON COUNTY, Ind. (WDRB) - The man charged with killing his girlfriend when the car he was driving plunged into a river admits it is his fault. But the victim's family still believes there's more to the story.
"He said he couldn't get the girl out of the car, he says she's underwater," a man said to 911 dispatchers.
Time is ticking and 16-year-old Brooke Hawn is stuck in a car that crashed into the White River.
"There were two other occupants but they were able to get out," the caller continued.
Video from the Jackson County Sheriff's Office shows the mangled car being pulled from the water. Hawn died from trauma, hypothermia, and drowning.
"We were going around turns and making the car slide," said Tyler Ross.
Police say the 18-year-old's reckless driving caused the accident.
"And the next thing I know, the car flipped over, and on top of the car, slid down the embankment and in the water," Ross recalled. "I tried to help Brooke get out of the car but she was stuck in the seat."
Ross is charged with reckless homicide and driving without a license -- he's never had one. He says he plans on pleading guilty to the charges.
He says after he and another male were safe, he tried again to save Brooke.
"And I went down to help Brooke, but the water was so cold I couldn't breathe," said Ross.
"I don't believe him. I believe Tyler saved his own skin, I honestly think foul play is here," said Kim Ingalls, Hawn's aunt.
She says Tyler keeps changing his story, and she says she just wants the truth.
"I lay down every night and I can't sleep," she said. "I don't know what my niece went through in her last minutes. I don't want to think of her in that car without anyone to help her."
"If I could take it back I would, and if I could trade her spots right now, I would," said Ross.
"She was a tiny girl. They were two grown guys. All it would've taken is grab her by the arm and get her out of that car," said Ingalls.
Both Ross and Ingalls say there's a lesson to learn.
"I want Brooke's death to stand for something, I want teenagers to think, I want them to pick their friends wisely," said Ingalls.
The prosecutor says she is waiting on police to wrap up their investigation before charges are formally filed. Once that's done, Ross will appear before a judge.
Ross faces an eight year sentence on the reckless homicide charge.
The viewing for Hawn will be Monday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Johnson Funeral Home in Vallonia. The funeral is at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday.