Bail Granted to Former Guyana Military Official and Political Candidate Who Fatally Struck National Cyclist While Allegedly Intoxicated

Former Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Retired Rear Admiral Gary Best (left). At right is accident victim Jude Bentley.

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Tuesday February 11, 2020 – Former Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Retired Rear Admiral Gary Best, who is contesting next month’s general elections under the governing coalition’s banner, was yesterday released on bail in connection with a road accident in which a 41-year-old national cyclist was killed.

Best, who police said was over the legal alcohol limit when he hit Jude Bentley on the Rupert Craig Highway around 4:30 a.m. last Saturday, was granted station bail in the sum of GYD$100,000 (US). He had to turn in his passport as part of his bail conditions.

Best had claimed the cyclist, a father of seven, had “appeared in front of him” and he pressed brakes, but when he swerved to avoid a collision, the right side front of his SUV collided with the cyclist before slamming into a utility pole.

The morning after the fatal accident, he was admitted to the Cardiac Unit of the Georgetown Public Hospital after complaining of feeling unwell.

Best, an executive member of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), is a candidate on the ticket of the ruling A Partnership for National Unity (APNU)-Alliance for Change (AFC) coalition in the March 2nd general and regional elections.

In a statement issued yesterday, Minister of Social Cohesion Dr George Norton said Bentley’s passing had undoubtedly saddened the entire sports fraternity, particularly the cycling community and the Ministry of the Presidency, Department of Social Cohesion, Culture, Youth and Sport.

“Bentley’s contribution towards the development of sports has been exemplary and he will forever be remembered as the thriving rider that he was,” he said. “It is our hope that his family will take comfort in the outpouring of love and prayers that has been coming from all across the country. May his soul find eternal peace.”

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