Man accused of striking mom in drunk driving crash and leaving hospital after surgery

LA PORTE, Texas (KTRK) -- Just weeks ago, Kelley Schoppe was a busy wife and stay-at-home mom with a growing business baking cookies.

The evening of Sept. 6, she wanted to do something kind for the staff at Memorial Hermann Hospital, said her mother-in-law Terri Conner.

"The doctors and the nurses had been working really long hours because of Hurricane Harvey," said her mother-in-law Terri Conner. "(Kelley) made a bunch of cookies to deliver to the nurses and doctors."

Kelley never made it to her destination. Her family said her SUV was demolished by a drunk driver, not far from her La Porte home. James Hutchins, 27, has been charged with intoxication assault

Schoppe has had seven surgeries thus far with a broken hip, broken legs and severely damaged arms.

"She said without a blink, without a pause, 'I will never be able to hold my babies again,'" Conner said.

According to court documents, Hutchins' blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit. At the time of the crash, he was on probation for a drug charge, DPS records stated. He has yet to surrender to law enforcement.

Hutchins was also injured in the crash.

La Porte police said an arrest warrant was obtained as Hutchins was going into surgery. With resources being diverted due to Hurricane Harvey, police said the department didn't have the resources to put an officer at Hutchins' bed. They didn't believe he would be able to leave the hospital.

He did.

Now, Schoppe's mother-in-law admits to feeling a range of emotions from anger to frustration, but most of all, simply doesn't want this to happen to another family.

"I would ask him to be a man, to 'fess up to his charges and turn himself in," Conner added. "That would be the next right thing to do."

To assist the Schoppe family, visit their GoFundMe account.

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