Hudson River Boat Crash Driver's Blood-Alcohol Nearly Twice Legal Limit: Prosecutors

His lawyer said he disputes the toxicology results

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The 35-year-old man who piloted the boat in the Hudson River crash that killed a bride-to-be and her groom's best man in July had a blood-alcohol level that was nearly twice the legal limit, an indictment said Thursday. Sheldon Dutes reports.

    The 35-year-old man who piloted the boat in the Hudson River crash that killed a bride-to-be and her groom's best man in July had a blood-alcohol level that was nearly twice the legal limit, an indictment said Thursday.

    Prosecutors had said after the crash that there was probable cause Jojo John was drunk when he plowed the 21-foot Stingray into a construction barge near the Tappan Zee Bridge on July 26, but the blood tests showing a .15 blood-alcohol level had not been revealed until now. The indictment also said cocaine metabolites were found in his system, but those can linger for longer.

    The grand jury indictment charges him with 18 counts, including vehicular manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

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    Audio between first responders and the dispatcher in the search for the boat that crashed into a barge on the Hudson River was released Wednesday, the same day the the family of the victims issued their first public statements. Jen Maxfield reports.

    "Drinking and driving is a lethal mix, as it appears to have been in this incident, which left several families shattered," said Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe.

    The crash killed Lindsey Stewart, 30, who was set to be married Aug. 10. Her fiance's best man, 30-year-old Mark Lennon, also died.

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    [NY] Wedding Florist for Bride Killed in Boat Crash Preps for Funeral
    The wake for the bride killed in a Hudson River boating crash will be held Wednesday, and the florist who was to design her bridal bouquet is now making arrangements for her funeral. Jen Maxfield reports.

    A lawyer for John said poor lighting on the barge, not any impairment, caused the crash.

    "We dispute the toxicology results and look forward to challenging those findings," said David Narain.

    Families of the two people who died have said that the passengers on the boat "had consumed very little alcohol and considered themselves sober."

    Stewart's and Lennon's families said in a new statement on Thursday that they were disappointed the investigation focused on John and "continue to believe that the owners and operators of the barges where this accident happened share responsibility."

    The New York State Thruway Authority and the Coast Guard have said the barge lighting appeared to be functioning normally and met all regulations.

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