Action News 5 Special Report: Accountable? - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Lori Brown

Action News 5 Special Report: Accountable?

Six people, ages 15 to 22, died last summer when a dragster driven by Australian Troy Critchley careered into a crowd of spectators at a charity show in Selmer, Tennessee.

For more than a year since the crash, Critchley, who faces six counts of reckless vehicular homicide, has kept quiet.  That is, until a recent interview he participated in with the Australian version of 60 Minutes.  The segment was titled 'The Scapegoat,' and producers signed an agreement preventing the interview from being shown in the United States.

"I don't know how I can ever say that I am sorry."

"I absolutely wish I'd stayed at home (that day)."

Those statements, printed in Australian newspapers and attributed to Troy Critchley, are burned into the mind of Darla Griswell, whose two daughters - 15-year-old Raven and 18-year-old Nicole - died when Critchley's drag car crashed into the crowd.

"I need him to look me in the face and tell me he's sorry," Griswell said in a recent interview.

Griswell was interviewed for the 60 Minutes segment, and is now talking exclusively with Action News 5.

"In 60 Minutes, he said, 'I've cried myself to sleep many nights.' Well I'm sure glad he can sleep. I haven't slept two nights in a row since it happened."

The Melbourne Herald Sun wrote that Critchley said he didn't think he could ever face the families of those who died in Selmer, saying, "I have thought about that but I don't...I don't know if I am man enough to do that."

"He was man enough to get in the car," she said. "You're man enough to drive it down that road. Man up. Exactly what I think, man up."

"I was woman enough to bury both my daughters in the ground."

Griswell says Troy Critchley isn't the only one to blame for the deaths of six people.  She says her daughters were standing where the crash happened because the police and organizer said it was okay.

Critchley is the only person charged in the case.

We tried to talk to his attorney, Robert Hutton, who also appeared on 60 Minutes.  Newspapers quote Hutton as saying "We are raising a very strong argument that...because the government enabled this to occur, they can't turn around and prosecute him criminally for it happening."

Hutton did not return our calls, and the District Attorney prosecuting the case said he cannot comment.

Griswell only wants to hear from Troy Critchley.

"It would mean a lot...mean a lot. Will I forgive him right then? I don't know.  That's human nature. It's hard to forgive. I'm trying. It's hard," she said.

"I'm going to miss being in the delivery room with my daughters when they have their children," Griswell added. "Their daddy's never going to walk his children down the isle."

Griswell said the producers of 60 Minutes told her the story would not air until after Critchley's trial in November.

That was not the case.

In addition to the six counts of reckless vehicular homicide, Troy Critchley faces multiple counts of aggravated reckless assault.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.


Click here to send an email to Lori Brown.

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