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Euless mom indicted for DWI, injury to a child

FORT WORTH -- A Tarrant County grand jury has indicted a Euless mother on charges that she was intoxicated when she crashed her vehicle in October on a Euless street, injuring eight teens including her twin daughters after she had picked all of them up from the movies.

Grand jurors returned an indictment last week against Brenda Rodgers, 37, who, the teens told police, had driven at speeds that reached 95 mph on a freeway.

The indictment charges Rodgers with driving while intoxicated with a child, endangering a child and injury to a child.

If convicted, Rodgers faces a maximum of two years in prison and a $10,000 fine on each charge.

Rodgers remained free Monday after posting $20,000 bail shortly after her arrests on Nov. 6.

Tests measured Rodgers’ blood-alcohol level at 0.13 at the time of the accident, Euless police said. The legal limit in Texas is 0.08.

The two boys and six girls in Rodgers’ vehicle were taken to hospitals in Irving and Grapevine, but there were no life-threatening injuries.

The teens

On Oct. 25, the eight teens were out to celebrate the twin girls’ 15th birthday, which was the next day, said Gauge Murphy, a boyfriend of one of the girls. About 10 p.m., one of the twins called their mother for a ride home, Murphy said. Rodgers sounded like she’d been drinking but told her daughters she’d had only three beers, Murphy said in a telephone interview a few days after the accident.

But soon after they crowded into Rodgers’ 2002 Chevrolet TrailBlazer, the teens realized they’d made a mistake, Murphy said. Rodgers nearly hit two people in the parking lot, and only tapped the brakes at stop signs, he said.

As she neared home, Rodgers “laughed hysterically” trying to run over a cat, he said.

The wreck

The crash happened on Rodgers’ birthday, according to reports. She was driving the TrailBlazer southbound in the 1200 block of Donley Drive shortly before 10:30 p.m. She told police she lost control of the vehicle when she swerved to miss a dog.

According to police reports, witnesses said she swerved to avoid a parked vehicle.

The TrailBlazer hit a curb, breaking a wheel and causing the SUV to roll over several times, police said. None of the passengers sitting in the middle or rear seat had their seat belts on, according to the affidavit.

Three of the teens are 14 and five teens are 15 years old, according to police reports.

Mother arrested

Euless police arrested Rodgers several days after the accident. She has no criminal history in Tarrant County.

Authorities said it took a few days to arrest Rodgers because they had to wait for test results and investigators spent a few days with the Tarrant County district attorney’s office to determine what charges would be filed.

The teens and their parents met at Murphy’s home Oct. 26 to discuss the wreck, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Rodgers called one of her daughters who was attending the meeting and asked her daughter to lie for her and not to tell anyone she had been drinking or that she was drunk, the affidavit states.