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Athens man formally charged for 2019 DUI hit-and-run collision that injured two

Tommy Watkins

By Joe Johnson

A 57-year-old Athens man on Thursday was formally charged in connection with a two-car DUI hit-and run collision at an east Athens intersection that seriously injured two occupants of the other car over two years ago.

In an accusation filed by a prosecutor in Clarke County Superior Court, 59-year-old West Carver Drive resident Tommy Watkins was charged with two counts of serious injury by vehicle, three counts of hit and run, and one count each of driving under the influence, failure to yield at a stop sign, and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.

According to Athens-Clarke County police accident and incident reports, Watkins was driving under the influence of alcohol shortly before 9 p.m. on March 13, 2019 when he drove his 2004 Cadillac CTS through a stop sign at Vine Street and Nellie B Avenue and T-boned a 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser occupied by a 43-year-old Fairview Street woman and a 37-year-old Herbert Road man.

The collision propelled the PT Cruiser onto a sidewalk, where the occupants were extricated from the vehicle by police officers and firefighters, according to reports.

Both occupants were transported by ambulance to Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center with serious injuries to the head, neck, ribs and leg.

Police located Watkins up the street from the accident site, and he was described as having “the odor of an alcoholic beverage and urine coming from his person.”

Watkins admitted to having consumed several beers and “it was later discovered that the five beers he was talking about were high alcohol content and large-sized cans” that he drank at the Triangle Plaza shopping center not far from the crash site, according to the police report.

Watkins, who is free on a $20,000 security bond, is scheduled to be arraigned on Aug. 22.

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