Motive, means, and opportunity – Episode 14

Detective Worthey investigates a car crash

Detective Worthey had some experience with arguments and death.

It was a simple scenario and it happened more than one thought.  Only recently there had been a case where a husband and wife had an extreme argument, a number of residents in the apartment block attested to it, and to the fact the husband left in a fit of pique, and not thirty minutes later was killed in a car crash caused by his inattentiveness.

For all intents and purposes, it was an open and shut case.

The case notes before him were anything but an open and shut case, even though the investigating detective had considered it so.  On the surface it was.

The son was a recovering drug addict.  His mother refused to accept that the boy was an addict, that he had a problem that could easily be overcome and was being handled.  According to her statement, the son had told her it was not a problem, as it was being made out to be.

The father knew the extent of the problem and had been working with the medical team to look after his son, and the considered opinion of the medical team and the father was for an extra period in rehab.  The problem: the treatment was working but the son was not strictly adhering to the program.

It was that old story, the son didn’t think he had a problem and had fallen off the wagon.

And, of course, the program was not like jail.  The participant was not obligated to stay if they didn’t want to, and the son had considered he was sorted and signed himself out.

Only to go and visit his old friends, and, that mistake made, he was convinced just a little wouldn’t harm him.  Define ‘just a little’.

Another statement had the son returning home, clearly under the influence, and a meltdown ensues.  The wife takes the son’s side, not acknowledging the son was back on drugs, the father tries to convince them that the son needed to return to rehab, and while the parents are fighting, the son takes the car and leaves.

Not twenty minutes later the son was involved in a car accident, failing to stop at a red light, and cleaned up by a car who had a green light.  The son is severely injured, and the car is wrecked.  The other car is also disabled, but the driver just got out and ran.

There were seven witness statements covering the crash and aftermath.

Each was different.

Each said the son’s car ran the red light and the other car had nowhere to go.

Each said the driver of the car that hit the son’s car got out and simply walked away.

Seven descriptions of the fleeing driver were basically the same in that it was a man, he was wearing a dark blue suit, and he had short reddish hair.

That was it.  Two said he was tall, two said her was short, and the rest of average height.

Three said he was a black man, and the others said he was Mexican.

Four said the man stopped to look in the car that he’d hit, saw the driver, and completely changed expression, to one of recognition followed by shock.

The others said he looked in the car, shook his head, and then walked off.  The detectives’ notes said the car was registered to a man named…

Phillip Megarry.

Worthey re-read the paragraph again, and then shook his head.

The report then went on to say that Megarry had been contacted, did not match the description of the man who had ran not the son’s car, and then reported the fact the car was stolen, having not realised that it was not in the garage where it should be.

That man showed the Detective the garage where the car was stored and provided the registration papers for the car.  The Megarry then, was not the Megarry aka Bergman now.

But, that Megarry was short, slight, and spoke with a German accent.  The Bergman Megarry was American with no sign of any accent.

Worthy made a note: Follow up interview with Megarry the owner of the car that hit the son’s car.

But, if the Megarry that did hit the son’s car was the Bergman alias, then the killing of the son was from the very person Wendy was having an affair with, whom she had known for a long time, and was the cause of all Anderson’s problems.

What are the odds of it being such a small world? Worthey asked himself.

This was adding a new level of complication that he was sure none of the family knew about.

The accident wasn’t James Anderson’s fault.  Whether or not he could have prevented his son taking the car, that could also be applicable to the mother.  That accident was always going to happen, one way of another, because the son’s ability to do anything was impaired by drugs.

And Worthey was curious what the mother would say when she learned who it was driving the car that caused the death of her son.  No, that was Bryson’s problem to sort out as the lead detective on the case.

But there was one lingering possibility, had James Anderson known it was his best friend who had virtually killed his son, and did he kill him because of it?

© Charles Heath 2019-2023

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