Former Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Retired Rear Admiral Gary Best was driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of a road accident that resulted in the death of national cyclist, Jude Bentley, early Saturday morning.
Traffic Chief Linden Isles said Best underwent two breathalyser tests – once at the accident scene and again at a police station – and they revealed that he was “above the prescribed limit” of alcohol concentration.
Isles said Best was still in police custody assisting with the investigations. He said station bail would not be granted at this time.
Bentley and Best were travelling in the same direction when Best’s vehicle came in contact with the bicyclist. A utility pole on the median of the Rupert Craig Highway in the vicinity of the Russian Embassy was also downed by Best’s vehicle.
As news of the cyclist’s death spread, his relatives, friends and members of the cycling fraternity turned up at the scene and were in anguish at the demise of a man who was well-respected and loved by almost everyone.
Best had reportedly told investigators at the scene that he had tried to avoid hitting Bentley but the cyclist again ended up in his path when he was struck down. A neighbour reportedly heard a loud and long screech.
Bentley’s body was seen several feet away from the mangled bicycle.
Best’s vehicle has since been removed and parked near the Kitty Police Station minus the licence plate and campaign poster and stickers for the governing A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC). He has been speaking at a number of 2020 general election campaign meetings.
Best, who is an executive member of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), is a candidate for APNU+AFC in the March 2, 2020 general elections.
PNCR Leader, President David Granger has in recent months been calling on Guyanese to exercise care in using roads, in the wake of horrific and deadly road accidents, a number of which has claimed the lives of police and soldiers.