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Driver charged after deadly Hudson River boat crash

July 27, 2013 at 9:05 PM   |   Comments

PIERMONT, N.Y., July 27 (UPI) -- The driver of a boat that hit a barge in New York's Hudson River leaving a woman dead and her fiance's best man missing was charged Saturday, authorities said.

Jojo K. John, 35, of Nyack, who allegedly was intoxicated while behind the wheel of the Stingray speedboat when it crashed about 10:40 p.m. Friday, was charged with vehicular manslaughter and vehicular assault, The New York Times reported. John was arraigned in his hospital bed, the New York Post reported.

A body believed to be that of bride-to-be Lindsey Stewart was found Saturday in the river north of New York City.

Police said the body matched Stewart's description and the Rockland County medical examiner was examining it to confirm it was her and the cause of death, the Times said.

Stewart, 30, of Piermont, N.Y., her fiancee, Brian Bond, 35, and four other people were in the speedboat when it hit the construction barge that was part of a string of barges near the Tappan Zee Bridge. Stewart and Mark Lennon, who was to be Bond's best man, were thrown into the water.

Bond and Stewart were to be married Aug. 10.

Lennon was still missing Saturday afternoon. Emergency workers said they believed both Stewart and Lennon were dead.

Bond and the others in the boat were all seriously injured, emergency workers said.

Carol Stewart, Lindsey's mother, told WABC-TV, New York, her daughter and Bond had known each other since they were children.

"She is supposed to be married in two weeks from today," she said. "It can't end like this."

Bond, Stewart and Lennon were in a 21-foot Stingray traveling from Piermont on the west side of the river to Tarrytown on the east at the time of the crash, police said. The boat hit barges that were anchored in the river for the construction of a new Tappan Zee Bridge.

Brian Conybeare, a special adviser to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, said the New York State Thruway Authority was investigating its safety procedures in light of the tragedy.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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