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Orange County man charged with intoxication manslaughter in June wreck in Bridge City

Bond was set at $100,000 for the 23-year-old man.

BRIDGE CITY, Texas — An Orange County man has been arrested and charged with intoxication manslaughter in connection with the death of a woman in a June 2020 wreck.

Jerrod Lee Watkins, 23, of Orange, was booked into the Orange County Jail Thursday morning on the charge and his bond was set at $100,000 according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Watkins was charged in connection with the death of Jillian Blanchard, 20, who died after her vehicle was struck head-on along FM 1442 in Bridge City in June.

Watkins posted bond and was released on Thursday afternoon according to a jailer at the Orange County jail.

The Bridge City Police Department investigated the wreck in which a northbound Nissan Altima crossed into the southbound lanes and struck a Ford F-150 head-on according to file stories.

Credit: Orange Couinty Sheriff's Office
Jerrod Lee Watkins

When officers arrived on the scene they found that Blanchard had died according to file stories.

A few minutes after officers arrived at the wreck police were notified that a man had been struck by a car a few miles away in the 200 block of Ferry Drive in Bridge City.

Police have not said if the death of that man, Robert Jackson, 45, was related to the head-on wreck on FM 1442 that killed Blanchard.

Family members of Blanchard along with family members of Jackson contend that the two incidents are related and held a protest at the Bridge City Police Department in August charging that police had not been forthcoming in the investigation.

The families and protestors were calling for justice for both Blanchard and Jackson.

Currently Watkins has only been charged in connection with the death of Blanchard.

12News has reached out to the Bridge City Police Department for more information but they have not yet responded.

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This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.

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