Petaluma PD: Felony DUI, vehicular manslaughter suspect arrested
Photo: Petaluma Police Department
Originally published 9-23-20 via Nixle
by the Petaluma Police Department:
“Update: Suspect [James T.] Watkins was arrested for Felony DUI and Vehicular Manslaughter. Watkins was booked at the Sonoma County Main Adult Detention Facility.
On the above date and time, Petaluma PD officers responded to a report of a vehicle vs. pedestrian injury collision on South McDowell Blvd and Baywood Drive. South McDowell and Baywood is a roundabout intersection. When officers arrived on scene, two off-duty law enforcement officers and one off-duty nurse were giving lifesaving medical care to the pedestrian.
Petaluma Fire Department personnel transported the victim to Petaluma Valley Hospital where they were pronounced deceased.
The driver of the vehicle, Suspect Watkins was contacted in his vehicle that had come to rest in the middle of the roundabout. Officers suspected Watkins was DUI and he was subsequently placed under arrest. Watkins was uninjured but was transported to a local hospital for DUI testing.
Petaluma Police Department’s Traffic Unit was called out to investigate the collision. Based upon initial witness statements, the location of the vehicle, and a preliminary investigation, it appears that Suspect Watkins, was driving a 2011 white Toyota Prius southbound on McDowell Blvd, just prior to Baywood Drive. Watkin’s drove onto the sidewalk just prior to the roundabout and struck the pedestrian who was standing on the sidewalk. Watkins was the only occupant. Suspect Watkins has a pending court date from a 2018 DUI collision arrest in Sonoma County.
The identity of the victim, a 53-year-old male is being held pending a notification to all family members. The Petaluma Police Department Traffic Unit was called out to investigate the collision. If anyone witnessed the collision, please contact Traffic Officer Mike Pierre at 707-781-1208.”