UPDATE: Monday, February 23 at 11:30 a.m.
Wichita County Precinct 4 Commissioner Jeff Watts turned himself in to be booked into jail Tuesday morning on a charge of driving while intoxicated
Watts was released Tuesday morning on a $1,500 bond.
Watts said in a statement Monday afternoon he would turn himself in at the request of the Texas Department of Public Safety for an accident on Highway 25 south of Electra on Thursday, February 18.
Police said at about 7 p.m. before the accident, an Electra police officer said she had been notified of a possible drunk driver in a white Ford pickup that had struck a post pulling into the Wichita County Annex north of Electra, and that the driver was unsteady on his feet as he walked to the door.
The officer said she located the truck on Highway 25 going south and followed it a while, noting the driver was not driving erratically.
At the scene of the rollover, a DPS trooper said the truck as on its side in a ditch and numerous EMT’s and firefighters were working to get the driver out.
Authorities said there was a strong odor of alcohol in the cab of the truck as well as open containers of beer.
The DPS trooper said he spoke to Watts on a gurney and Watts said he didn’t know he had been in a crash.
The trooper said he asked Watts if he had been drinking, and Watts said no.
At the hospital emergency room in Electra, the trooper said Watts admitted to having “2 or 3 beers”.
The trooper said Watts had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, his speech was slurred, and he was confused about what happened.
The trooper said he was unable to conduct any field sobriety tests but because of all the signs he observed, he believed Watts was intoxicated over the .08 legal limit.
Watts said he refused a blood draw at the hospital and a warrant was issued to draw it.
UPDATE: Monday, February 23 at 10:45 a.m.
Wichita County Commissioner Jeff Watts was booked into jail Tuesday morning on a charge of driving while intoxicated.
This charge stems from a rollover accident in Electra on Thursday, February 18.
Watts admitted to consuming alcohol prior to the accident, though in a statement he said he did not know whether or not he was over the legal limit.
Watts was also released Tuesday morning on a $1,500 bond.
UPDATE: Monday, February 22 at 4:47 p.m.
Wichita County Commissioner Jeff Watts has admitted to consuming alcohol prior to hitting a patch of ice and sliding off the road on Thursday, February 18.
In a letter to Wichita County residents, Watts said he entered his truck after consuming alcohol, though he was uncertain whether or not he was over the legal limit.
Watts said he refused a blood draw while at the hospital, but a warrant to draw his blood was ordered.
Watts said the results will not be in “for weeks or maybe months” and that he does not know what the results will be.
“Whether or not I was over the legal limit that evening, the fact remains the same: No one should ever drink and operate a motor vehicle,” Watts said.
Watts asked for forgiveness from the residents of Wichita County and said his goal is to re-earn the trust residents have placed in him.
Since Watts was not taken to jail because he was under hospital observation, he said he has notified the Texas Department of Public Safety he will turn himself in at their request.
Please find the full statement from Watts below:
UPDATE: Friday, Feb. 19 at 09:50 a.m.
Wichita County Commissioner Jeff Watts has released an official statement regarding a rollover accident he was involved in on Thursday night.
Last evening, I was involved in a single-car accident while traveling on an icy stretch of Highway 25 south of Electra Texas. Luckily, no one was injured in the accident. I was taken to Electra Memorial Hospital and discharged later that evening. My sincere appreciation goes out to the first responders who arrived to render aid at the scene and for those who provided excellent care to me at the hospital.Wichita County Commissioner for Precinct 4
UPDATE: Friday, Feb. 19 at 09:00 a.m.
Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom has confirmed that Jeff Watts was released from the hospital following a rollover accident Thursday night.
ELECTRA (KFDX/KJTL)— DPS troopers are investigating a rollover accident that left a Wichita County commissioner hospitalized Thursday night.
Wichita County deputies were called to State Highway 25 near Jennings Road around 7 p.m. One person was transported to Electra Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Dan Buesing.
Buesing said the vehicle slid into a ditch, struck a post, and rolled onto its side.
Wichita County Sheriff David Duke said only one person was inside the vehicle. Duke and Buesing confirmed the driver’s identity as Jeff Watts, Wichita County Commissioner for Precinct 4.
Buesing said more information will be available Friday.
This story is developing. Stick with Texoma’s Homepage as we work to learn more information.