MGH doctor charged with drunken driving in South End hit and run that injured 3

A Massachusetts General Hospital doctor appeared in Boston Municipal Court on Tuesday to face multiple criminal charges stemming from an alleged hit-and-run crash last week in the South End that injured three people.

Michael T. Watkins was allegedly driving drunk just before midnight Friday near the intersection of Columbus Avenue and Clarendon Street as three people were making their way across the street in the crosswalk, Boston police allege.

The victims later told police “they were in the crosswalk when the operator beeped at them before accelerating, striking all three of the victims.” All three were transported to area hospitals with injuries that were not life-threatening, police said.


Responding officers located Watkins and his car on Tremont Street a short distance away. Watkins allegedly smelled of alcohol and was arrested by police.

Watkins pleaded not guilty Tuesday to three counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, operating under the influence of alcohol, and three counts of leaving the scene after causing personal injury.

He was released on $1,500 cash bail. He is to return to court on July 30. His lawyer couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

In a statement, MGH wished the injured pedestrians a speedy recovery.

“The thoughts of the MGH community are with all those who have been affected by this very difficult and unfortunate incident,” the hospital said. “We wish the pedestrians involved a full and speedy recovery.”

The hospital described Watkins as “a highly regarded senior vascular surgeon who has long been a leader on the MGH medical staff as well as in the community. The hospital continues to follow this matter closely and will determine what action to take after more information is available.”

According to MGH’s website and the state Board of Registration in Medicine, Watkins is a graduate of Harvard Medical School who was most recently a visiting surgeon at the Department of Surgery and is associate director of MGH’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion.


The board “has no record of felony or serious misdemeanor convictions regarding Dr. Watkins,” his profile on the state database said Tuesday.

Travis Andersen of the Globe Staff contributed to this report. John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.