Lindsay Wilcox, NBC 5 News
Speed and alcohol are being blamed for an early-morning crash that killed three people and injured two others in Arlington.
At about 3 a.m. Monday, an Arlington police officer spotted a bright flash of light and went to investigate, officials said early Monday morning. When the officer arrived at the source of the flash, he saw a horrific single-car crash.
Investigators determined that the driver of the Honda Accord was headed westbound on the 700 block of southeast Green Oaks Boulevard when he lost control of the vehicle and struck a tree in front of Ferguson Junior High School.
The tree sliced the car into two pieces, killing the driver and the passenger, 21-year-old twin brothers Michael and Stephen Eckel.
Ruthstrom and two men in the back seat were transported to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, where Ruthstrom was pronounced dead. The two survivors sustained serious injuries but are expected to recover.
Officials said a bottle of alcohol was found at the scene.
Officials said all of the vehicle's occupants were between the ages of 17 and 21.
The Eckels' father said getting the news in the middle of the night was the realization of his worst fears.
"It's always in the back of your mind, and you do the best you can," Gary Eckel said.
NBC 5's Randy McIlwain and Lindsay Wilcox contributed to this report.