Marine, Student Die in 2-Car Collision

Times Staff Writer

A Marine helicopter mechanic, who reportedly had been drinking, raced his car through a red light in Irvine early Saturday and broadsided another car, killing himself and the second driver, authorities said.

A passenger in the Marine’s car was critically injured.

Jeffrey D. Watt, 23, died at the scene at the intersection of Barranca Parkway and Red Hill Avenue, Irvine Police Sgt. Phil Povey said. Also killed in the 12:43 a.m. accident was Eric Ross Bosley, 19, a Yorba Linda college student.

Jeffrey Windholz, 21, was in critical condition Saturday afternoon at UCI Medical Center in Orange, where he was flown by helicopter after paramedics, using the “Jaws of Life,” rescued him from Watt’s car, Povey said.


Windholz, like Watt, is a Marine stationed at the Marine Corps Helicopter Air Station in Tustin. A base spokesman said both men were living in military housing on the base.

The Marines were westbound on Barranca in Watt’s 1988 four-door Nissan faster than 80 m.p.h., Povey said. Bosley was northbound on Red Hill Avenue.

“The light was red and they failed to stop,” Povey said. Watt slammed into Bosley’s 1975 Buick. The force of the collision carried both cars through the intersection. When they hit the curb, the doors on the two cars opened, ejecting Watt and Bosley.

Watt was pinned under the two cars, and Bosley was thrown 70 feet, Povey said. Windholz, who was wearing a seat belt, was trapped inside Watt’s car. It was unknown whether Watt or Bosley were wearing seat belts, Povey said.


Watt’s wife, who had gone out looking for her husband, arrived at the scene about 10 minutes after the accident, Sgt. Scott Cade said. At about the same time, several other people arrived who told authorities they had been with the Marines and that the men had been drinking, Cade said.

Bosley attended Fullerton Community College. A family friend described him as a good student, who graduated from Placentia’s Esperanza High School in 1987. His family has lived in Yorba Linda since 1973, and Bosley was selling vacuum cleaners part time to help pay for college. The friend said Bosley apparently had been visiting friends Friday in the Irvine area and was returning home to Yorba Linda when the accident occurred.