Hudson River boat victims' parents blame bad lighting on barge - New York News

Hudson River boat victims' parents blame bad lighting on barge

Posted: Updated:

By JIM FITZGERALD | AP

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) -- The parents of a bride-to-be killed in a boating accident on the Hudson River suggested Wednesday that poor lighting on a barge, not drunkenness, was responsible for the crash.

In a statement issued the day before Lindsey Stewart's funeral, her mother and stepfather and the parents of a second victim complained that there was a "rush" to blame Jojo John, who was piloting the powerboat that hit a barge Friday night.

The stationary barge was carrying construction materials for the $3.9 billion project to build a new Tappan Zee Bridge across the Hudson.

Investigators have said that based on witness statements, they suspect that John, 35, who was injured, was intoxicated. He has been charged with vehicular manslaughter.

But the families, after saying they were "shattered" by the accident that killed Stewart and Mark Lennon two weeks before the wedding, said, "Compounding our agony is the rush, by some, to cast blame on or even malign the victims. While police have issued serious charges against the boat's driver, toxicology results supporting those charges will not be available for days."

They said their conversations with survivors of the crash, including groom-to-be Brian Bond, made clear that the passengers "had consumed very little alcohol and considered themselves sober."

They were all "mature, respected professionals," the parents said. Stewart, Lennon and Bond were all 30.

It was also clear, the parents said, that "none of them saw the barge. They did not brace for impact and could not identify what they had hit -- even after impact."

Investigators have said they are looking into whether the barge was properly lighted. The Coast Guard and the state Thruway Authority, which is building the bridge, have said it was. The Thruway Authority added lighting after the crash.

The parents, Carol Stewart-Kosik and Walter Kosik and Kevin and Dympna Lennon, asked other boaters to help with the investigation by emailing any knowledge they have "of the barges or the accident conditions."

Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe confirmed Wednesday that tests on John's blood are not yet complete. He said all information would be submitted to a grand jury.

Zugibe also revealed that investigators have a brief cellphone video, shot by one of the survivors, that shows the moments just before the crash.

"It picks up the last few seconds before impact," Zugibe said.

The district attorney said it's difficult to tell if the video shows the actual impact. He says the cellphone also briefly recorded audio of the impact and the aftermath of the crash.

He says investigators are carefully reviewing the recording for clues to the cause of the accident.

Stewart's funeral is scheduled for Thursday at the church where she would have been married Aug. 10. Lennon's funeral is scheduled for Friday.

  • New York State NewsNew York State NewsMore>>

  • Five Guys offers bacon milkshakes

    Five Guys offers bacon milkshakes

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 6:47 PM EDT2014-08-20 22:47:08 GMT
    Burger chain Five Guys is testing the adage that everything tastes better with bacon. It is rolling out a customizable milkshake program and along with bananas, peanut butter, Oreo cookies, salted caramel, you can chose bacon.  Yes that's right: a bacon milkshake.
    Burger chain Five Guys is testing the adage that everything tastes better with bacon. It is rolling out a customizable milkshake program and along with bananas, peanut butter, Oreo cookies, salted caramel, you can chose bacon.  Yes that's right: a bacon milkshake.
  • Poll: Cuomo maintains big lead in NY gov race

    Poll: Cuomo maintains big lead in NY gov race

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 8:15 AM EDT2014-08-20 12:15:46 GMT
    Gov. Andrew CuomoGov. Andrew Cuomo
    A new poll shows Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to maintain a 2-to-1 advantage over his Republican challenger in New York's gubernatorial race. The Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday gives Cuomo a 56 to 28 percent lead over Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. That's essentially unchanged from Quinnipiac's poll in May.
    A new poll shows Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to maintain a 2-to-1 advantage over his Republican challenger in New York's gubernatorial race. The Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday gives Cuomo a 56 to 28 percent lead over Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. That's essentially unchanged from Quinnipiac's poll in May.
  • New York gives tuition break to veterans

    New York gives tuition break to veterans

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 4:44 PM EDT2014-08-19 20:44:17 GMT
    Education NewsEducation News
    New York is encouraging veterans to go back to school and making it easier for the families of service members who relocate to the state. A new state law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday will give veterans in-state tuition rates at state colleges and universities even if they wouldn't otherwise qualify.
    New York is encouraging veterans to go back to school and making it easier for the families of service members who relocate to the state. A new state law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday will give veterans in-state tuition rates at state colleges and universities even if they wouldn't otherwise qualify.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Savion Glover, the master teacher

    Savion Glover, the master teacher

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:31 PM EDT2014-08-21 02:31:51 GMT
    While the rest of us merely march to the beat of our own drum, Savion Glover is the drum. The tap dance superstar has dazzled audiences from the small screen to the big screen from the White House to the Great White Way. More than just a legend, Savion has become a curator of tap. He is on a mission to keep the craft sacred for future generations.
    While the rest of us merely march to the beat of our own drum, Savion Glover is the drum. The tap dance superstar has dazzled audiences from the small screen to the big screen from the White House to the Great White Way. More than just a legend, Savion has become a curator of tap. He is on a mission to keep the craft sacred for future generations.
  • Fatal boat explosion on Long Island

    Fatal boat explosion on Long Island

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:56 PM EDT2014-08-21 01:56:27 GMT
    Detectives from the Nassau County Homicide Squad are investigating an explosion that destroyed a boat, burned two docks, and killed one person in Manorhaven on Wednesday afternoon. Two dock workers and two boaters were gassing up a docked 33-foot Carver motor boat just after 2:45 p.m. when an explosion tore through the boat, setting it and the dock on fire, police said.
    Detectives from the Nassau County Homicide Squad are investigating an explosion that destroyed a boat, burned two docks, and killed one person in Manorhaven on Wednesday afternoon. Two dock workers and two boaters were gassing up a docked 33-foot Carver motor boat just after 2:45 p.m. when an explosion tore through the boat, setting it and the dock on fire, police said.
  • Helmsley Building lights up in gold

    Going gold for pediatric cancer research

    Going gold for pediatric cancer research

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:22 PM EDT2014-08-21 01:22:24 GMT
    The Helmsley Building in Manhattan went gold Wednesday night in honor of children with cancer. The owners also plan to do the same in September for Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.Other city landmarks that will go gold next month include Times Square, the Coney Island Parachute jump, and all of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
    The Helmsley Building in Manhattan went gold Wednesday night in honor of children with cancer. The owners also plan to do the same in September for Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.Other city landmarks that will go gold next month include Times Square, the Coney Island Parachute jump, and all of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices