November 8, 2013
The powerboat pilot involved in a Hudson River crash that killed a bride-to-be and her fiance’s best man was drunk at the time, according to an indictment made public Thursday.
A defense lawyer said even if that’s true, intoxication was not the cause of the crash.
Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe announced the indictment against Jojo John, 35, of Nyack, who was among six people on the 19-foot Stingray when it crashed into a construction barge on the night of July 26. The crash occurred just south of the Tappan Zee Bridge off Piermont, north of New York City.
The crash threw two occupants, Lindsey Stewart of Piermont and Mark Lennon of Pearl River, both 30, into the river, where both drowned. John and three others, including the groom-to-be, were injured. Stewart’s wedding was two weeks away.
Among the 18 charges are vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, vehicular assault and operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“Drinking and driving is a lethal mix, as it appears to have been in this incident, which left several families shattered,” Zugibe said.
He said lab tests showed John’s blood-alcohol content was 0.15 percent, nearly twice the legal level for boating. He also said tests found “cocaine metabolites” in John’s system, but did not say at what level or if that had anything to do with the crash. Metabolites are substances produced after the body breaks down cocaine.