It was tragic news in the world of Major League Baseball when word broke of Jose Fernandez’s death in a boating accident. However, while the news of a young man dying at the age of 24 is tragic, recent shocking news of cocaine use has tainted the life of the young superstar.
CNN reported that Jose Fernandez had cocaine in his system at the time of his death. The news came according to the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner’s office on Saturday afternoon. Jose Fernandez was also legally drunk at the time of his death, with a BAC of 0.147.
While the death of Jose Fernandez will remain a tragedy in the eyes of his friends, fans, family, and teammates, this latest cocaine news might downplay the young man’s death in the eyes of the general public. When a person dies while under the influence of illegal drugs like cocaine, it often paints them in a bad light despite the circumstances of the death.
Outside of the cocaine news, the official cause of death of Jose Fernandez was blunt-force trauma to the torso and head as well as jaw fractures. The boat that Fernandez was in hit a jetty at Miami Beach on Sept. 25. There were also two other deaths, with Eduardo Rivero and Emilio Jesus Macias found later that morning.
While Jose Fernandez had the legally drunk BAC levels and had cocaine in his system, both Macias and Rivero’s BAC levels were below the legal limit in Florida. While it is unclear what they are looking for at this time, authorities in Miami Beach are conducting a homicide investigation into the accident. The cocaine news only adds to those reports.
Deadspin has further investigated the accident and found some interesting items in the reports of the accident other than just the cocaine. There was a search warrant affidavit that the Miami Herald requested that shows that the investigators believed that the boat was driving at high speeds and was reckless. The idea was that it was due to alcohol use, or possibly even the cocaine.
This cocaine and alcohol news goes against the reports from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, who claimed that alcohol was not a factor in the accident. They also said that the boat was not owned by Jose Fernandez. However, the commission retracted both statements until further investigation could proceed.
The attorney for Jose Fernandez and his family, Ralph Fernandez, told the Miami Herald that Jose was not operating the boat at the time of the accident and his death. This would eliminate him as the cause of the accident if true, even with the cocaine reveal, but this is just a statement from his family’s attorney.
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According to the attorney, Jose Fernandez was on the phone with a friend prior to the accident and the person he was speaking to said that Fernandez was telling someone else where to drive the boat. There were also phone records that prove the conversation took place before his death.
Ralph Fernandez also said the alcohol and cocaine should not come into the conversation when talking about what Jose Fernandez meant to Miami prior to his death.
“He loved Miami. He loved the Marlins. He loved his people, and that’s not going to change. Even if he was a wild thing, that’s not going to change what he did for everyone around him and for baseball and athletics as a whole.”
Jose Fernandez was only months away from becoming a father at the time of his death. Jose Fernandez defected from Cuba in 2008 and was the National League Rookie of the Year in 2013.
[Featured Image by Lynne Sladky/AP Images]