BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport’s sign in the new roundabout is already in need of repairs.
56-year-old Anthony Hawkins is accused of hitting the new sign, located in the middle of the new Highway 388 roundabout at the airport’s entrance. State troopers said Hawkins was traveling east on 388 early Saturday morning when he blew right through the middle of the roundabout.
Hawkins allegedly told troopers he was trying to find music on his phone when he missed the speed limit signs leading up to the roundabout, drove across two lanes of traffic, hit a curb, and then the sign. Troopers said Hawkins quickly gathered his things and fled the scene.
Airport police and Bay County Sheriff’s deputies said they caught him about a mile down the road. Transportation officials said the roundabout is well-marked and this was a case of distracted driving.
“As you enter the roundabout signage indicating that the entrance is ahead, detailing that it is a roundabout but unfortunately signs like that, if it’s being ignored or people are distracted while driving and don’t see the speed limit changes and aren’t following the rules of the road, an incident like this can possibly happen,” FDOT Spokesperson Ian Satter said.
Hawkins is charged with leaving the scene of a crash. He is being held on a $5,000 bond.
Airport officials said they are working to repair the sign.