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Boat Crash on Hudson Kills Bride-to-Be

A young woman who was set to be married in two weeks was killed and her
fiancé’s best man remained missing on Saturday after a boating accident
on the Hudson River on Friday night, the authorities said.       

The driver of the boat, Jojo K. John, 35, was accused of driving the
vessel while intoxicated and was charged with vehicular manslaughter and
vehicular assault.       

Lindsey Stewart, 30, was with her fiancé, Brian Bond, 35, and four
friends in a Stingray speedboat when it struck a construction barge just
south of the Tappan Zee Bridge around 10:40 p.m., the authorities said.
       

Ms. Stewart and the best man, Mark Lennon, 30, were in the front of the
boat at the time of the accident and were thrown into the river, the
police said.       

The police said they found the body of a woman matching the description
of Ms. Stewart floating just offshore on Saturday. The Rockland County
medical examiner was working to determine the cause of death, the police
said.       

Mr. Lennon remained missing as authorities suspended the search on Saturday evening.       

Friends and relatives gathered on the banks of the Hudson early
Saturday, placing two white roses in the water and hoping for a miracle.
“She is supposed to be married two weeks from today,” Lindsey Stewart’s
mother, Carol, told WABC-TV. “It can’t end like this.”       

The couple had known each other since they were children, and their
wedding was to take place on Aug. 10. The group of friends, including
Mr. John, had gone out to dinner in Piermont, N.Y., 25 miles north of
New York City, before taking the boat to cross the river to go to
Tarrytown.       

Mr. Bond, the fiancé, was knocked unconscious during the accident and
was hospitalized with a serious head wound, the police said. Mr. John
also was hospitalized with a head wound.       

Chief William Barbera of the Rockland County sheriff’s office said that
at least one of the passengers called 911, but was disoriented and could
not communicate the exact location. The Coast Guard was alerted and
immediately began a rescue effort.       

After the damaged vessel was located, four of the victims were taken to
hospitals. The authorities continued to search for the other passengers
until 1:30 a.m. before suspending the operation until daybreak. More
than a dozen vessels — including one equipped with sonar — a helicopter
and scores of volunteers scoured the waterway throughout the day.      

Robert Van Cura, a Rockland County undersheriff, said there are three
barges lashed together just south of the bridge and all had warning
lights.       

The barges are being used in the construction of the new Tappan Zee
Bridge, a $3.9 billion project that is just getting under way. The first
barges were moved into place in April, and as construction picks up
speed, the waterway is expected to get even more crowded.       

“While the Rockland County Sheriff, New York 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 New York Bridge Project,” Brian
Conybeare, special adviser to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, said in a statement.
       

At night, Mr. Van Cura said, “it is difficult to see barges that are low in the water in the dark.”       

        
     

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: July 27, 2013

 

An
earlier version of this article misspelled the name of the bridge that
crosses the Hudson River at Tarrytown, N.Y.  It is Tappan Zee, not
Tappen Zee.

 

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/28/nyregion/woman-is-presumed-dead-in-boat-crash.html

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