Wednesday, April 23, 2014
The Associated Press
PIERMONT, N.Y. - The driver of a speedboat that slammed into a construction barge on the Hudson River -- hurling a bride-to-be and her fiance's best man into the water -- has been charged with vehicular manslaughter, authorities said Saturday.
Police load a 21-foot powerboat onto a trailer in Piermont, N.Y., Saturday, after it struck a barge Friday night.
The Associated Press
Jojo John, 35, of Nyack was also charged with three counts of vehicular assault at his hospital bedside as he recovers from Friday night's crash, Rockland County Sheriff's Department Chief William Barbera said.
John's bail was set at $250,000 and he will be transported to the Rockland County Jail after he is released from the hospital, Barbera said. John is suspected of operating the boat while intoxicated, according to Barbera.
Earlier Saturday, authorities pulled from the water a woman's body that matches the description of 30-year-old Lindsey Stewart. The bride-to-be was hurled into the water in the accident near the Tappan Zee Bridge, about a half-hour's drive north of New York City.
Stewart, of Piermont, worked for an insurance company. She was due to be married Aug. 10. Her fiance, art teacher Brian Bond, was among four others injured in the crash.
Rescuers are still trying to locate one other passenger, her fiance's best man, 30-year-old Mark Lennon.
"The search has been suspended this evening and the tides have a lot to do with that," Barbera said. "We'll start again first thing in the morning."
Officials were working to confirm that the body found earlier Saturday was Stewart's.
The crash happened shortly after the boat, a 21-foot Stingray, left the village of Piermont for a short trip across the river to Tarrytown on Friday night, authorities said.
Bond, 35, was knocked unconscious in the crash but later woke and was able to call 911, said Stewart's mother, Carol.
Lindsey Stewart's stepfather, Walter Kosik, said the couple have known each other since they were young children and used to go to church together.
"They have been friends the whole time, and they fell in love about 3 1/2 years ago," Kosik said.
They were to be married at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Pearl River, with a reception at a vineyard in Hillburn, he said.
Barbera said the barge, one of several loaded with construction material for an upcoming replacement of the bridge, was equipped with lights, but it was still difficult to see on the water late at night.