Church Couple Killed in DUI Accident
Tragedy struck in early February of 2014 when a drunk driver caused an accident that killed the parents of 14-year-old Brandi Clopton. People described the Clopton family as close knit. They were members of Gateway Church. Church employee Holly Hilderbrand said that James and Lynne Clopton were always serving others and always smiling, even when life was difficult for them. Lynne was 46 years old and James was 49 years old. The driver, 40-year-old Melissa Marshall, was put in jail following the accident.
The couple was killed on a Tuesday afternoon at the intersection of Balcones Woods and Research Boulevard in Northwest Austin, less than a mile from their home. It is a sad reality that the tragedy that struck the Clopton family strikes families in Houston, Tyler, Wichita Falls, Midland, and all throughout Texas.
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Texas has the dubious honor of leading the nation in drunk driving deaths. In 2012, 1,296 people died as a result of an involvement in a drunk driving accident. All deaths are tragic, but it is especially tragic when those who die are innocents caught in the crossfire of someone else’s reckless and dangerous decision.
In 2012, over 89,250 people were arrested for driving under the influence. This means that the police had probable cause to believe that over 89,250 people were driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher. The monetary cost of drunk driving deaths to Texas taxpayers is around $6 billion. It is impossible to measure the cost to society of losing Texans prematurely.
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More than even the cost to society, the cost to the families of loved ones who have been killed by drunk drivers is absolutely unquantifiable. There is no way to put a price on the life of Brandi’s parents. However, there are practical considerations that need to be made. When a loved one is killed, it is difficult to think about anything other than grief and honoring their memory. That is why it is extremely important to contact a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. More than just seek out compensation, a good wrongful death lawyer will help take care of aspects of your loved one’s death that you might not be ready to face – or that you might not even know you need to face.
Oftentimes, insurance companies want to deal directly with the grieving. By having an experienced and compassionate wrongful death lawyer on your side, you do not have to worry about making any major decisions without guidance from a professional while still reeling from a horrible tragedy
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It is important that someone in Brandi’s position not suffer financially as well as emotionally for Ms. Marshall’s reckless decision-making. Wrongful death suits are brought not only to seek compensation for the pain and suffering of those left behind, but to cover medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, and to compensate the surviving family members for the lost earning power of the ones who were killed.
If your spouse, child or parent was killed in a drunk driving accident in Texas, contact us today for a free consultation.
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