Body of Irish-American recovered after Hudson boat accident
Best man Mark Lennon and a bride to be died after accident on Friday
The group of friends had gone out to dinner in Piermont before taking the boat to cross the river to go to Tarrytown. image: Google Maps
Police in New York believe they have recovered the body of an Irish-American best man who has been missing since a speed boating accident in the Hudson River on Friday.
Mark Lennon (30), whose parents moved to the city from Ireland in the 1970s , was in the front of the boat with his best friend’s bride-to-be at the time of the accident and they were both thrown into the river.
His body was yesterday found some 2km downstream from the place where bride-to-be Lindsey Stewart’s body was found just offshore on Saturday.
Ms Stewart, 30, was with her fiancé, Brian Bond, 35, and four other friends in a Stingray speedboat when it struck a construction barge just south of the Tappan Zee Bridge at about 10.40pm on Friday, the authorities said.
The couple was due to get married on August 10th. The group of friends had gone out to dinner in Piermont, some 40km north of New York City, before taking the boat to cross the river to go to Tarrytown.
The driver of the boat, Jojo K. John (35) was accused of driving the vessel while intoxicated and was charged with vehicular manslaughter and vehicular assault.
Sheriff’s department chief William Barbers said the bodies did not have life vests on when found. The bodies have yet to be formally identified by the county medical excaminer but police feel sure they are Stewart’s and Lennon’s. “We’re pretty confident that this is in fact Mark Lennon. That family is devartatsted as anyone would be,” Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco told reporters.
According to USA today Mark Lennon’s mother Dympna told reporters “He’s at peace...He was a very joyous, happy person, and he’d want us to celebrate his life, and that’s what we are going to do”.
Mr Bond, the fiance, was knocked unconscious during the accident and was hospitalised with a serious head wound, the police said. Mr John also was hospitalized with a head wound.
Chief William Barbera of the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office said that at least one of the passengers called 911, but was disoriented and could not communicate the exact location. The Coast Guard was alerted and immediately launched a rescue effort. After locating the damaged vessel, four of the victims were taken to hospitals. .
Robert Van Cura, an undersheriff with the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office, said there are three barges lashed together just south of the bridge and all had warning lights. The barges are being used in the construction of a new bridge
“While the Rockland County Sheriff, New York State Police and US Coast Guard continue to investigate this tragic incident, the New York State Thruway Authority is conducting its own review of safety procedures on the Hudson River as part of the New New York Bridge Project,” Brian Conybeare, special adviser to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, said in a statement. At night, Mr Van Cura said, “It is difficult to see barges that are low in the water in the dark.”
New York Times/AP