Garfield Wong

Senior immigration officer Garfield Wong went into the witness box on Wednesday to give his account of what had happened in the early hours of Dec. 28, 2013 when he was driving home along Shamrock Road.

As a result of a road accident, Mr. Wong was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident. The trial began last year before Magistrate Grace Donalds and was adjourned several times because of the conflicting schedules of expert witnesses, the court and attorneys.

Mr. Wong said he was driving along when his cellphone, that was on the seat beside him, fell on the floor. He wanted to pick it up before it slid under one of the pedals, so he checked his mirror to make sure no one was close behind him. He could see there was no one in front of him, so he reached down to pick up the phone off the floor.

“On reaching down, I did hear a thud, but I assumed I hit a pothole or ran over the markers on the road,” Mr. Wong told the court.

He straightened up and did not see anything in front of him, so he continued driving home.

He said he became aware of lights flashing behind him, but did not stop because he did not know who it was. When he turned onto the street where he lives, the right wheel of his vehicle “kind of gave way.”

At that point, he said, the man who had been following him pulled up and asked if he realized he had been in an accident.

Mr. Wong said he responded, no. He asked if the other driver was OK.

When police arrived, he was asked if he had been drinking. He responded that he had a few drinks earlier that night, but did not consider that his ability to drive was impaired, he told the court.

He was given a roadside breath test and was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and transported to the Bodden Town Police Station, where another breath test was performed.

Mr. Wong was still giving evidence by press time.

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