HED: Wreck kills 4-year-old; father faces charges

CATEGORY: CAC Car Accidents

AUTHOR: STAFF

HED: Wreck kills 4-year-old; father faces charges

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RIPLEY – A 4-year-old Ashland boy died Monday night when his father’s truck ran off a levee road and into a Tippah County lake.

Kevin D. Hopkins, 33, of Ashland has been charged with manslaughter accusing him of negligence in the death of his son, Austin Hopkins, said Darrell Mathis, chief deputy of the Tippah County Sheriff’s Department.

“It’s just a tragedy,” Mathis said.

The accident happened just after 6 p.m. Monday when Hopkins’ truck ran off the levee road and into 20 feet of water in Lake Chautauqua, Mathis said. The lake is located in west Tippah County within a mile of the Benton County line.

Kevin Hopkins and his 8-year-old son, who was not identified, were able to get out of the truck quickly, according to witnesses who saw the accident, Mathis said. People on the scene were able to get the 8-year-old boy out of the cold; he did not require any medical treatment.

It took five rescue unit divers more than two hours to retrieve Austin Hopkins’ body Monday night because the water was so cold, Mathis said.

Bond for Kevin Hopkins was set at $50,000 on Tuesday. He was held overnight Monday at the Prentiss County Jail, but had been returned to Tippah County on Tuesday.

The accident remains under investigation; depending on the outcome, more charges could be levied, Mathis said.