July 27, 2013
Hudson River Boating Accident: Manslaughter Charges Filed

The Hudson River boating accident has led to charges of manslaughter against the man allegedly operating the speedboat at the time it crashed into a parked construction barge.

The tragic accident near the Tappan Zee Bridge at about 10:30 pm last night appears to have taken the life of bride-to-be Lindsey Stewart, 30; a body of a as-yet identified female was recovered this afternoon about 600 feet from the riverbank. Best man Mark Lennon still has not been found. Groom Brian Bond, 36, survived -- as did three others -- but suffered a fractured eye socket. Only two of those on board are believed to have been wearing life jackets.

The driver, identified in various media accounts as Jojo K. John, was charged while still in his hospital bed with vehicular manslaughter and vehicular assault, the New York Daily News reports. Additional charges are possible. A law enforcement official, Rockland County Undersheriff Robert Van Cura, said that "We have probable cause to believe he operated the boat while intoxicated."

Stewart and Bond were due to be married on August 10. Lindsey Stewart's stepfather said that "Lindsey did all the planning herself for the wedding. She's a real smart lady. They've known each other since [they were ] 10-years-old -- they use to go to church together...They fell in love three and a half years ago -- they were planning a future together," the New York Post reports.

Search teams plan to continue tomorrow to look for Lennon.

According to UPI, "Bond, Stewart and Lennon were in a 21-foot Stingray traveling from Piermont on the west side of the river to Tarrytown [New York] 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... a special adviser to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the New York State Thruway Authority [is] investigating its safety procedures in light of the tragedy."