Authorities have released the name of the teenage driver charged with reckless homicide and other crimes in connection with the Feb. 14 accident that killed Terre Haute South Vigo High School student Jenna Perrelle, who was 17.
Court documents, specifically the chronological case summary, list the defendant as Bryce M. Switzer-Couthen, 16, of Terre Haute.
Additionally, a plea agreement is pending and is to be heard in open court on Thursday.
Switzer-Couthen is charged in juvenile court with Level 5 felony reckless homicide and two counts of criminal recklessness, one as a Level 5 felony and the other as a Level 6 felony. He also faces one count of reckless driving causing bodily injury, a Class A misdemeanor.
While his case does remain in the juvenile division, the court's record shows Juvenile Court Magistrate Daniel W. Kelly on March 1 -- the day the case was opened as a new filing -- signed and filed an order recommending public access.
Circuit Court Judge Sarah Mullican review that order and approved it on the same day, court records show.
Kelly's order cites the reason as, "The charged delinquent act would be a felony if committed by an adult, namely: Count I: Reckless Homicide, a Level 5 Felony; Count II: Criminal Recklessness, a Level 5 Felony; Count III: Criminal Recklessness, a Level 6 Felony."
The court's record shows a plea agreement was filed May 29 by the prosecutor's office, and a hearing is set for 9 a.m. Thursday (June 13).
Chief Deputy Prosecutor Rob Roberts, reached late Tuesday afternoon, he said he could not discuss the case as prosecutorial ethics forbade him from doing so.
The fatal accident occurred about 11:45 p.m. Feb. 14 near the intersection of Curry Drive and Sullivan Place in Vigo County. A sheriff's crash report indicates there were five teenage occupants of the vehicle, a 2003 silver Dodge Ram pickup truck.
The driver originally told police he was driving east on Curry Drive at about 40 mph when he swerved to avoid a deer in the road. The truck ran off the road and overturned.
Three of the teens in the truck were ejected. The crash report indicates Perrelle, 17, a junior at Terre Haute South, was in the right-side, rear seat and wearing her seat belt. Perrelle was not ejected. She was, however, pinned under the truck and suffered a head injury.
Perrelle, the daughter of Coby and Debbie Perrelle, was a junior at Terre Haute South Vigo High School, an honors student and member of the Braves softball team.