Man accused in NMB DUI-crash faces judge; bond set

Rickey Lee Watkins. (Credit: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

The man accused in a drunk driving crash that left thousands without power Tuesday night made his first appearance in court Wednesday.

Rickey Lee Watkins, 58, was granted access to a public defender at his bond hearing Wednesday, telling the judge he doesn't have a job and hasn't been employed in more than a year.

Watkins told the judge he stays with his sister and was driving his brother-in-law's car Tuesday night.

Watkins' bond was set at $2752 total on the charges of during under suspesion, second offense; driving under the influence, no proof of insurance and striking fixtures on the side of the road, failure to report.

Watkins is accused of crashing a white van into a utility pole carrying high-tension lines, which are reportedly costly and dangerous to repair.

The pole snapped at the top, cutting off power to nearly 11,000 people in North Myrtle Beach Tuesday night.

Santee Cooper crews worked Tuesday night and Wednesday to make repairs to the damaged pole and lines.

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