Commemorating with a cleanup: Scott Wilson's family, friends remember with pre-Father's Day tribute

WELLINGTON — There are small changes at the corner of Lake Worth Road and 120th Avenue South, not noticeable to anybody whizzing by in cars, but important to William Wilson.

On the night of Feb. 12, 2010, Wilson spent all night sitting in his car near this spot, waiting to be officially informed that his son Scott, 23, had been killed in an auto crash.

Now there is a large welcome sign indicating the eastern city limit of Wellington, which as it happens sits on almost the precise spot where Scott Wilson's little car went into the water.

Across the road is a smaller sign that simply says, "In memory of Scott Patrick Wilson."

Friends adopted this section of road last year.

On Saturday, Wilson, his wife Cyndie and more than 30 friends gathered with black plastic bags in a pre-Father's Day tribute to Scott Wilson.

"I have nothing to say," Wilson said to the people with cameras who trotted to keep up with his brisk stride.

Cyndie Wilson was steeling herself for Sunday.

"Father's Day is terrible," she said, wiping her eyes behind big sunglasses.

Then, inevitably, her thoughts turned to John Goodman, the polo mogul charged with DUI manslaughter for Scott Wilson's death.

"He'll be spending Father's Day with his kids," she added bitterly.

International Polo club owner John Goodman, 47, was driving south on 120th Avenue after 1 a.m. on that Friday night when he ran a stop sign and hit Wilson, according to the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office. Wilson was driving west on Lake Worth Road on his way to see his mother Lili.

The impact of Goodman's big Bentley pushed Wilson's Hyundai into a canal on the south side of Lake Worth Road. Goodman walked away from the crash. Wilson drowned in his crushed car.

William Wilson, a civil engineer, and his son, who had just graduated from University of Central Florida with a civil engineering degree, were very close, sharing an intense interest in basketball and other sports.

"It's a natural thing to want to call him or text him," Cyndie Wilson said. "And then you catch yourself."

Compounding the grief of family and friends is what seems to them like a slow road to justice in the case. Criminal charges were not filed against Goodman until three months after the crash. He was charged with negligent manslaughter and "failure to give information and aid" and went home the same day on bond. Fifteen months later, there is still no trial date set.

The formerly high-profile Goodman has become less visible. His home on 120th Avenue is just north of the crash site. A Wilson family friend was horrified to recognize him in a grocery store parking lot recently.

Wilson, his wife and friends, wearing blue T-shirts saying, "Clean up for Scott," trudged west in the 90-degree heat with their garbage bags.

"He's always happy that everyone keeps continuing to pay their respects," Cyndie Wilson said of her husband.

Staff writer Libby Volgyes contributed to this report.