Jury: Drunk driving killed Hawkins

Published: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 12:50 PM.

An autopsy by Leon County Medical Examiner Dr. Anthony Clark determined Hawkins had succumbed to “crushing head trauma.”

Hawkins, the son of Sopchoppy mayor Colleen Skipper, was a star linebacker at Lincoln High School, from which he graduated in 2002.

Collins told FHP Padowitz was driving the vehicle after a day spent at Carrabelle Beach, where the three had been “drinking beer and vodka all day.” Toxicology reports later determined Padowitz had a blood alcohol level of .17, more than twice the legal limit, but no drugs in her system.  Hawkins was found to have had a blood alcohol level of .102, with the presence of cannabis in his blood.

Interviewed by FHP officers at TMH, Padowitz denied she had been driving, and said she had been in the front passenger seat. While witnesses said she had entered the car on the driver’s side, only Collins could testify having seen her driving. He was transported to Franklin County for the jury trial from Coffee Correctional Facility in Nicholls, Ga., where he is serving a five-year sentence for shoplifting.

After studying the wreckage, FHP investigators concluded it was “more feasible” that Padowitz had been driving, since the driver’s seat was too close to have fit Hawkins, who was at least 6’3” tall.

Collins told FHP that he was the only one of the three wearing his seatbelt, and that Padowitz “was driving very fast and he remembered telling her to slow down.”

Collins told the FHP that Padowitz seemed to him to be “the more sober one of them all,” when she asked Hawkins if she could drive, since it was her birthday.

1 2 3

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top