Witness Account of Polo Mogul's Crash: "He Did Not Want to Get Into Trouble."
After crashing his Bentley into another car early on the morning of February 12, a drunken, dazed John Goodman wandered down a dirt road to find someone with a cell phone, according to a probable cause affidavit written by a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office investigator.
Only horses and pasture graced the landscape at the intersection of 120th Ave South and Lake Worth Road in Wellington. So Goodman, a multimillionaire trust fund heir who founded the International Polo Club, knocked on the door of a camper parked next to some stables.
Horse trainer Lisa Pembleton cautiously opened the door."What would you do if a guy was in your bedroom at 1:30 in the morning?" she wrote later on her blog.
"I was just in an accident and I need to use your phone," Goodman informed her.
As Pembleton scrambled for her phone, she kept the lights off, "so he couldn't tell I was also searching for my mace because I didn't know who he was, if he was telling the truth," she wrote.
The first call Goodman made, according to the investigator's affidavit, was to his girlfriend. Then he asked Pembleton the classic drunk question, "if he looked or sounded impaired," the investigator wrote.
After partying all night at the Whitehorse Tavern and the Players Club, Goodman had reason to be concerned. Three hours later, a test would show his blood alcohol level was a hefty 0.177 percent.
"What should I do now?" Pembleton remembered him asking.
"I told him he should call 9-1-1," she wrote. "He was very hesitant as he did not want to get into trouble, but after some encouragement he called."
On the phone, Goodman told the operator that he "ran into something at the intersection of Lake Worth Road and 120th Ave South," according to the affidavit.
That "something" was a Hyundai driven by 23-year-old Scott Patrick Wilson. While Goodman wandered off to find a phone, Wilson's car was upside down in a canal for nearly an hour. Trapped and helpless, Wilson drowned.
"It happens that there was in fact a terrible accident, or in his [Goodman's] words, "end of the world accident," right at the corner of my street," Pembleton wrote.
"If you think of it, keep it in your prayers. He is a billionaire and I am the only post-accident witness."
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