Perdido Key, FL (WKRG)
Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Eddie Elmore confirms that 56-year-old Eric Watt was arrested for DUI early Sunday morning. Watt is accused of hitting eight people on Perdido Key Boulevard Saturday night. Watt was released from the Escambia County Jail on $40,000 bond before 9 AM this morning. According to jail records, he was booked just before 3 AM, meaning he only spent six hours in jail before bonding out.
“That’s crazy, I think he should have spent more time in jail,” said vacationer Mike Williams from Missouri. The crash also has people questioning the safety of walking along Perdido Key Drive. It is a heavily traveled roadway during warm, vacation weather and it has few sidewalks for pedestrians.
“They’re supposed to be putting in sidewalks and all kinds of things out here, the infrastructure hasn’t been built up correctly and now people are paying for it,” said Sean Cook from Perdido.
News 5 spoke with one of the victims by phone this morning. He said all eight of the victims are friends who live in the same apartment complex. They were walking from a restaurant back to their apartment complex when Watt hit them from behind without warning.
The victim said he felt being hit and then remembers paramedics on the scene. He said he’s still hurt but out of the hospital. He says he believes two of his friends are still in medical care, but since none of them have their cellphones it was hard to keep up with the medical conditions of his friends.
The FHP also confirms that all eight victims are young men in the military. They are all affiliated in some way with NAS Pensacola.