Broward News

Was John Goodman Using Cocaine the Night Before Fatal Crash?

There's been plenty of speculation about where Wellington polo mogul John Goodman was headed the morning of the fatal car accident that killed 23-year-old Scott Wilson.

The night of February 11, multimillionaire Goodman was drinking at the Players Club, a popular bar on South Shore Boulevard in Wellington. He left the bar around 12:50 a.m. February 12, according to a probable cause affidavit written by Palm Beach County sheriff's investigator Troy Snelgrove.

But Goodman, the founder of the International Polo Club, didn't head straight home. When the crash occurred about ten minutes later, he was driving his Bentley south on 120th Avenue South at the intersection of Lake Worth Road. That means he was driving away from his house, which is north of the crash spot on 120th Avenue South. No

matter which route he chose to take from the bar, he wouldn't be headed south if wanted to go home.

Goodman didn't have a driver that night, as he usually does, and he wasn't with his girlfriend, because he called her after the crash. So where was he going?

Investigator Snelgrove's report doesn't answer that question. But Chris Searcy, the attorney for Scott Wilson's mother, who has filed a wrongful death suit against Goodman, sheds some light on the rumor that Goodman may have been on his way to buy cocaine.

'It's my understanding that there is a witness to Goodman making a statement that he was going to do that," Searcy says.

Searcy has not spoken to that witness, so at this point the allegation cannot be confirmed. However, Searcy has interviewed witnesses who say they think Goodman was high that night.

"We have information from some sources that, in their opinion, he had been using cocaine that evening," Searcy says.

Those sources were speculating based on his appearance -- they didn't actually see Goodman snorting the drug.

In divorce court papers filed last year, Goodman's ex-wife, Carroll, alleged that he had a history of abusing cocaine.

The sheriff's investigator's report doesn't mention drug use in relation to the crash. It simply alleges that Goodman was drunk -- his blood alcohol level was 0.177 percent three hours after the crash.

Goodman has pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular homicide, DUI manslaughter, and failure to render aid after the crash. Roy Black, his attorney, has not responded to New Times' repeated requests for comment on this case.

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Lisa Rab
Contact: Lisa Rab