Second lawsuit filed against Hopkins Icehouse in fatal drunk driving crash

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A popular downtown Texarkana watering hole is facing two lawsuits in connection with a drunk driving accident that left two dead in 2013.

Hopkins Icehouse bar and restaurant, the bar’s owners, and Chad Caldwell are named as defendants in wrongful death suits filed in Miller County this month on behalf of the families of two individuals whose lives ended in a tragic crash Sept. 29, 2013. Caldwell plead guilty to two counts of intoxication manslaughter and one count of intoxication assault in Bowie County last year. He is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence in Texas.

Texarkana lawyers Chad Trammell and Hawley Holman filed the complaints seeking judgments for the families of Tameka Pavon, 38, and Jercarlos Hawkins, 34, on Sept. 11 and Sept. 18 respectively.

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“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 lawsuits allege. “Defendant Hopkins Icehouse Bar continued to serve defendant Caldwell intoxicating beverages well after he became visibly intoxicated. Defendant Hopkins Icehouse Bar allowed defendant Caldwell to leave its premises in a state of visible intoxication without making any attempts to ‘sober him up.’”

Caldwell ran a red light at the intersection of State Line Avenue and 14th Street in Texarkana, Texas in the early hours of Sept. 29, 2013. Caldwell’s jeep slammed into a car being driven by Tameka Pavon, 38. Pavon and passenger Jercarlos Hawkins, 34, were killed. A second passenger in Pavon’s car, Genaro Camacho, 28, suffered a debilitating brain injury from which he is unlikely to fully recover.

Hopkins, located in Texarkana, Ark./Miller County, is about a five minute drive to the site of the crash in Texarkana, Texas/Bowie County.

Caldwell’s blood alcohol level was far above the legal limit of .08 when it was tested about an hour after the deadly wreck. According to the wrongful death suits, Caldwell’s BAC was .301.

The suits accuses Hopkins of negligence for selling alcohol to Caldwell when he was clearly drunk and for failing to train staff as to how such a situation should be handled. Caldwell is accused of negligence for failing to drive in a safe manner, for failing to keep a proper lookout, for failing to drive at a reasonable rate of speed, and for driving while intoxicated.

Both cases have been assigned to Miller County Circuit Judge Brent Haltom.

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