The bodies of a bride-to-be and her fiance’s prospective best man have been pulled from the Hudson River after a crash involving a barge and a speedboat Friday night. The speedboat, piloted by Jojo John of Nyack, N.Y., was carrying six members of a wedding party when it crashed into a barge holding materials to be used in building a replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge.
Lindsey Stewart and Brian Bond, both 30, had planned to be married Aug. 10, according to the Associated Press. However, their plan was cut short when they -- along with four members of their wedding party, including prospective best man Mark Lennon, also 30 -- embarked on a short speedboat trip across the Hudson River, from Piermont to Tarrytown. On Friday around 10:40 p.m. EDT, John inadvertently crashed the boat into the barge. Both Stewart and Lennon were thrown from the boat: They were not wearing life preservers when their bodies were found.
The other four passengers aboard the boat were severely injured in the crash, NBC News reported, saying the injuries included head trauma and broken bones. Bond, the groom-to-be, is currently unable to speak because of his injuries, Walter Kosik, the bride-to-be’s stepfather, told NBC New York.
Authorities believe John was intoxicated while piloting the boat. He has been arrested and charged with vehicular assault and vehicular manslaughter, AP reported.
“I don’t think you can put words to what we have to tell these families,” Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco said Sunday when he announced that Lennon’s body had been recovered in the Hudson River.
“While the Rockland County Sheriff, N.Y. State Police and U.S. Coast Guard continue to investigate this tragic incident, the New York State Thruway Authority is conducting its own review of safety procedures on the Hudson River as part of the New NY Bridge Project,” Brian Conybeare, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s special adviser for the Tappan Zee Bridge project, said in a statement cited by NBC News.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes political reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.