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Second suit filed over drunken driving accident

Second suit filed over drunken driving accident

September 24th, 2015 by Lynn LaRowe in Texarkana News

A second wrongful-death suit has been filed against a downtown Texarkana bar and restaurant in connection with a fatal 2013 drunken driving accident.

The mother of Tameka Pavon filed suit Friday against Hopkins Icehouse, the bar’s owners and Chad Caldwell. Caldwell accepted a 20-year prison sentence in Bowie County, Texas, last year after pleading guilty to two counts of intoxication manslaughter and a single count of intoxication assault connected to a September 2013 wreck that left two dead and another with permanent brain damage.

Caldwell ran a red light at North State Line Avenue and 14th Street shortly after 2 a.m. Sept. 29, 2013. Caldwell’s jeep smashed into Pavon’s 2004 Honda sedan, killing Pavon, 38, and Jercarlos Hawkins, 34. Genaro Camacho, 28, survived the wreck, but suffered severe, debilitating brain injury.

Pavon’s mother, Mary Holmes, filed suit Sept. 18 in Miller County with the help of Texarkana lawyers Chad Trammell and Hawley Holman. The suit, which is nearly identical to one filed by Trammell and Holman on behalf of Hawkins’ family the week before, accuses Hopkins Icehouse of over-serving Caldwell the night of the deadly collision.

“On Sept. 28, 2013, and continuing to Sept. 29, 2013, defendant Caldwell arrived at Hopkins Icehouse bar and consumed approximately 20 beers and three to five mixed drinks,” the complaints state. “Defendant Hopkins Icehouse Bar continued to serve defendant Caldwell intoxicating beverages well after he became visibly intoxicated.”

The suits claim staff at the bar allowed an obviously drunk Caldwell to leave the bar without any attempt to “sober him up.”

The suits specifically name Caldwell; Layin’ Low Inc. doing business as Hopkins Ice House Club; Hopkins Icehouse Inc. doing business as Hopkins Icehouse; David Jones; George Dodson; Mike Rogers; John Does; and John Doe insurance companies as defendants. Jones and Dodson are listed as owner-operators of Hopkins, while Rogers is identified as permit holder.

The suits allege Hopkins is guilty of negligence for selling alcohol to Caldwell when he was “clearly and visibly intoxicated,” and allege staff at the bar were not properly trained. The suits seek recompense for Pavon’s and Hawkins’ conscious pain and mental anguish before death, medical expenses, funeral expenses and loss of life. The complaint also asks for punitive damages.

Camacho filed suit in Bowie County earlier this year against Caldwell and Pavon’s estate. Pavon’s estate filed a response in that case claiming it should not be held liable because Pavon was a sober driver manuevering her car in a responsible manner when she was hit by a drunk driver.

Caldwell is serving his time in a prison in Tennessee Colony, Texas. According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Website, Caldwell will be eligible for parole Dec. 17 of this year.

 

llarowe@texarkanagazette.com