Local millionaire John Goodman will face both criminal charges and a wrongful death lawsuit after a fatal DUI car crash in 2010.
In the early morning hours of February 12, 2010, 48-year-old John Goodman was speeding to his Palm Beach home in his convertible Bentley after spending the evening partying with friends. Authorities believe that Goodman was drunk when he ran a stop sign and collided with a Hyundai sedan, which flipped upside down from the impact and landed in a canal. Goodman then allegedly fled the scene.
The driver of the Hyundai, 23-year-old Scott Wilson, was on his way to visit his parents after completing his mechanical engineering degree at the University of Central Florida. Wilson was trapped underwater in the driver’s seat and drowned in the wreck.
Goodman, who splits his time between Palm Beach and his native Houston, will answer to DUI manslaughter and several other charges in a Palm Beach County courtroom on March 6. If he is convicted, he could serve up to 30 years in prison.
New Times reported that Goodman offered cash to a witness who had helped after the crash. A few weeks after the wreck, he contacted the witness, asking her if she thought he had “sounded drunk” at the time.
The Wilson family’s attorney believes the evidence against Goodman strongly supports a criminal conviction. Police say he was driving under twice the legal limit of intoxication, fled the scene of the accident, and allegedly told a neighbor that he was afraid to call 9-1-1 because he didn’t want to get into trouble.
Goodman was arrested at the Four Seasons Hotel when charges were filed. The Wilson family’s lawsuit is set to begin immediately after the criminal trial.