TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A suspected drunken driver who crashed into a trooper and endangered participants during the Skyway 10K in March appeared before a judge in court Tuesday morning.
The Florida Highway Patrol said Kristen Kay Watts went around barricades toward runners on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge during the 10K race on March 6. Trooper Toni Schuck was hailed a hero after crashing into Watts’ BMW to stop her.
Watts, 52, of Sarasota was treated for minor injuries and later charged with DUI serious injury.
Watt’s attorney, Bruce Denson, expressed competency concerns in court on Tuesday and explained he hired a private doctor to conduct an evaluation.
“I don’t wanna get into the particulars of the report, but it does raise an issue whether she is competent to proceed or not,” said Denson.
Judge Lon Arend will appoint a state doctor to conduct a formal evaluation.
Denson told 8 On Your Side his client had no intention of harming anyone the morning of March 6.
“She did not even know that there was a race going on on the bridge. It certainly wasn’t her intent to interfere with that in anyway or to cause anybody any injury or harm,” said Watts’ attorney.
Trooper Toni Schuck was in the courtroom during Tuesday’s appearance along with Sergeant Steve Gaskins.
“It’s been very tasking for her,” said Sgt. Gaskins. “What she’s gone through is tremendous and it speaks to her internal strength about how she’s handled the whole process.”
A competency review date has been scheduled for June 1 at 2:30 p.m.