Highway Patrol trooper hurt when Sarasota woman ignores roadblock in place for Skyway foot race

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Published: Mar. 6, 2022 at 1:14 PM EST
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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - A Sarasota woman has been arrested and a Florida Highway Patrol trooper is in the hospital with serious injuries after a driver ignored a series of roadblocks in place for the 5th annual Skyway 10K fundraiser and slammed into a trooper.

Florida Highway Patrol reports that Kristen Kay Watts, 52, was speeding northbound on I-275 at approximately 8:45a.m. Sunday. The crash report claims she ignored a detour setup to direct drivers away from the Skyway 10K Race, and continued to weave through a series of traffic cones and other barriers.

State officers tried to stop Watts as she kept driving toward the Sunshine Skyway Bridge where thousands of people were running, but FHP reports she wouldn’t stop. The crash report claims she then drove past several Florida Fish and Wildlife officers who were guarding the closed toll plaza on the Manatee County end of the bridge.

Soon after, two FHP troopers tried to stop her. The troopers parked on both the northbound lanes to prevent the driver from getting any closer to the runners, but Watts crashed her BMW into one of the patrol vehicles nearly head-on.

FHP says Watts and trooper in the patrol vehicle were seriously injured and were taken to a nearby hospital.

Watts is being charged with DUI with serious injury, a third-degree felony.

A Sarasota woman has been charged with DUI Serious Injury after FHP says she crashed into a...
A Sarasota woman has been charged with DUI Serious Injury after FHP says she crashed into a trooper while driving toward the closed Skyway Bridge.(Courtesy: Florida Highway Patrol)

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