• January 21, 2022

Henry Hopkes IV Killed in Auto Accident on Vintage Preserve Pkwy in Harris County, TX

Harris County, TX -- August 31, 2021, 56-year-old Henry Hopkes IV was killed in a traffic accident on Vintage Preserve Parkway in Harris County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 2:40 p.m. on Vintage Preserve near Louetta Road. Preliminary investigation suggests Hopkes was driving a Cadillac CTS north in the right lane of the roadway when he approached a Ford Transit Van with a utility trailer that was parked with its hazard lights on in the travel lane. The driver and one passenger were in the van while another person was outside the vehicle putting gas into lawn equipment on the trailer.

Reports say Hopkes failed to control his vehicle's speed and crashed into the van's trailer, pushing it into both the van and the pedestrian next to it.

Hopkes suffered fatal injuries in the collision. The pedestrian near the trailer received life-threatening injuries and was transported to an area hospital. Neither of the van's other occupants were injured.

Blood tests conducted by investigators ultimately found that Hopkes had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of approximately .28 at the time of the crash.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Henry Hopkes IV Accident on Vintage Preserve Pkwy in Harris County

Blood tests seem to have confirmed that the driver, both the suspect and a victim in this crash, was highly intoxicated at the time. Some may feel there's little else to say about that since his passing means he's beyond the reach of any legal consequences, but they may not realize he may not be the only one to hold accountable.

Texas and many other states broaden the scope of responsibility for DWI accidents beyond just the drivers themselves and sometimes include the establishments that sold or served them drinks. If investigations show that a licensed alcohol vendor over-served the suspect prior to the accident that took his life and hurt another person, the accident may have further considerations beyond the obvious.

Henry Hopkes IV Killed in Auto Accident on Vintage Preserve Pkwy in Harris County, TX

When alcohol providers keep serving obviously intoxicated customers and that intoxication then leads to someone being hurt--most commonly in a DWI accident--those businesses may be liable for those injuries under dram shop law. Ultimately that liability would mean the business could be sanctioned for the role it played in over-serving a drunk driver who went on to cause or suffer harm. It could also mean the victims of that crash would have the right to confront the business in court and seek help with their recovery.

Dram shop is a valuable but under-utilized tool to help victims get back on their feet after DWI accidents. Will the authorities overlook the possibility of dram shop violations as they so often do, or are steps actually being taken to make sure the injured victim and the driver's family get the help they need and deserve?

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