IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Teen Pleads Not Guilty In Fatal Wreck

The teenage driver involved in a wreck on Interstate 295 in June that killed four teens and injured four others pleaded not guilty at an arraigned in a Duval County Courtroom Tuesday morning.
/ Source: WJXT-TV

The teenage driver involved in a wreck on Interstate 295 in June that killed four teens and injured four others pleaded not guilty at an arraigned in a Duval County Courtroom Tuesday morning.

Brandon Hodges is charged with four counts of driving without a license causing death, four counts of driving without a license causing serious bodily injury and driving without a license.

The Ford Explorer Hodges was driving on the last day of school flipped while driving on the interstate. Eight occupants were ejected. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Hodges was the only person in the SUV who was wearing a seat belt.

Hodges' lawyers said his client is not to blame for the outcome of the crash.

"That accident was caused by a defective tire," Duke Fagan said outside the courtroom. "If that tire hadn't been defective, there wouldn't be four dead kids. If that tire hadn't been defective, there wouldn't be four seriously injured kids. If that tire hadn't been defective, none of us were be here."

Cooper Tires, the brand that was on the SUV that wrecked, told Channel 4 they have not been contacted about any allegations involving their tires and it would be inappropriate to comment or speculate without the necessary facts.

Hodges will next appear in court Sept. 24.