BOSTON (CBS) — A surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital is accused of driving drunk when he struck three people with his car Friday night. Michael Watkins was arraigned in Boston Municipal Court Tuesday and released on $1500 cash bail.
Prosecutors say Watkins, 64, was drunk when he hit three people in a crosswalk at the intersection of Columbus Avenue and Clarendon Street Friday night. Police found him in his car on Tremont Street shortly after the crash.
Watkins is a vascular surgeon and has been practicing for over 20 years.
The two women and one man hit were taken to nearby hospitals with minor injuries. Five other people at the scene claimed to be with the victims and also witnessed the crash, prosecutors said.
“The first victim told the officers that he was with the group as they were walking into the crosswalk, they heard the vehicle that ultimately hit them beep at the group. Then he said that his friend looked at the vehicle and pointed at the walk signs and signals to indicate to the vehicle that they had the right of way in the crosswalk. At that point, the witness told the officers that the driver of the vehicle beeped four times and then proceeded to slam on the gas and strike the three victims,” a prosecutor told the judge.
Defense attorney Jack Diamond said, “[Watkins] indicted to me that there was a vehicle, as he was coming up, double-packed in that crosswalk. The door flew open, he was beeping the horn at that vehicle.”
A statement from Mass. General Hospital said: “The thoughts of the MGH community are with all those who have been affected by this very difficult and unfortunate incident. We wish the pedestrians involved a full and speedy recovery. Dr. Michael Watkins is a highly regarded senior vascular surgeon who has long been a leader on the MGH medical staff as well as in the community. The hospital continues to follow this matter closely and will determine what action to take after more information is available.”
Watkins was charged with three counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, three counts of leaving the scene with personal injury, and operating under the influence.
He is due back in court on July 30 for a pre-trial hearing.