WELLINGTON, Fla. (CN) – The parents of a young engineer claim the founder of the Palm Beach International Polo Club caused a fatal accident while driving his Bentley drunk and then fled, abandoning their son to drown in a canal. The parents claim the multimillionaire polo patron ran to call his lawyer while their son was trapped in his car and dying.
John Goodman, a wealthy heir and founder of a world-renowned polo club in Wellington, Fla., had been drinking heavily before the accident, Lili and William Wilson say in their wrongful death claim in Palm Beach County Court.
The Wilsons claim that Goodman “was drinking alcoholic beverages excessively at the Players Club” in Lake Worth, and that he “had also been using controlled substances” that night. They claim Goodman was so inebriated that he lost his balance and fell over at the bar.
But the bar continued to serve him alcohol “and made no effort to keep him from driving,” according to the complaint.
On his way home, Goodman sped down 120th Street in Lake Worth, ran a stop sign and collided with 23-year-old Scott Wilson’s 2006 Hyundai, catapulting it into a drainage canal, the Wilsons say.
Rather than check to see if Wilson had been injured, Goodman stumbled out of his Bentley and fled to a nearby business to call his friends and attorneys for advice, the parents say.
“Goodman made no effort whatsoever to come to the aid of Scott Wilson but instead fled the scene on foot,” the complaint states.
Goodman “sought to hide at nearby structures and … make telephone calls to friends and lawyers to protect himself from prosecution, all the while knowing that the driver of the vehicle he had knocked into the ditch was seriously injured, submerged under water and most likely drowning,” the complaint continues.
Goodman did call 911, according to the complaint.
A sheriff’s office spokesman said the accident is being investigated, and that he could not comment on the details of it.
An abbreviated incident report confirms that Wilson died in the ditch, trapped in his mangled car.
Goodman’s lawyers said they are waiting to see if vehicular manslaughter charges will be filed.
Also named as defendants are the Palm Beach International Polo Club and Player’s Club Restaurant.
The Wilsons claim the Player’s Club should have stopped serving Wilson before he became too drunk to drive. They are represented by Christian Searcy with Searcy Denney.
Goodman, heir to air-conditioner and heating products-maker Goodman Manufacturing’s fortune, sustained minor injuries in the crash.