Traffic slowdowns and rubbernecking as vehicles worked through the scene of a manhunt following two hit and run collisions Friday evening. The incident coming to a head on Highway 49 near Pekolee Drive. CHP Officer Greg Tassone said the series of events started with a hit and run around Grass Valley that led CHP units on a chase southbound on 49.
At that point the suspect, later identified as 35 year old Othell Watkins of Sacramento, fled into some heavy brush and blackberries along the side of the highway. The CHP with assistance from the Sheriff’s Department took positions and a standoff ensued.
Eventually, using a heat-sensitive infared camera system, and a lot of scrapes and dirt, the teams were able to flush Watkins from the berries and he was taken into custody. Watkins was determined to be a parolee, and he was charged with a number of felonies including hit and run causing injury, evasion of a peace officer with disregard for public safety, along with the parole violation. It was also determined that Watkins is legally deaf.