Manslaughter charge filed in Hudson boat crash

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 27, 2013 at 10:36 pm •  Published: July 27, 2013
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PIERMONT, N.Y. (AP) — A deadly nighttime speedboat crash on the Hudson River hurled a bride-to-be and her fiance's best man into the water and left the groom and three others injured, including a friend charged with vehicular manslaughter on Saturday, just two weeks before the couple was to exchange their vows.

Six friends were on board the boat Friday night when it struck a barge near the Tappan Zee Bridge, sending Lindsey Stewart and Mark Lennon, both 30, into the water and injuring the other four, including groom-to-be Brian Bond, officials said.

A body matching Stewart's description was recovered Saturday while Lennon is presumed dead, Rockland County Sheriff's Department Chief William Barbera said. The search for Lennon's body will resume Sunday.

"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."

Authorities charged the boat's operator, Jojo John, 35, of Nyack, with vehicular manslaughter and vehicular assault. He was arraigned from a hospital bed and ordered held on $250,000 bond, Barbera said. John is suspected of operating the boat while intoxicated but authorities are still awaiting the result of blood tests.

Attempts to reach John's family were not immediately successful and it was not clear if he had an attorney.

Earlier Saturday, authorities pulled a woman's body from the water that matched Stewart's description. Officials were working to confirm that the body was Stewart's but it was unclear how long that could take.

Stewart and Lennon were thrown from the boat when it struck a barge carrying materials for the construction of a replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge, about a half-hour's drive north of New York City.

The boat, a 21-foot Stingray, had left the village of Piermont for a short trip across the river to Tarrytown, authorities said.