One body has been found in the water after a bride-to-be and a best man went missing when a boat crashed into a barge on the Hudson River on Friday night, officials said, and the boat’s operator has been arrested.
Four other people remained in the hospital Saturday while investigators continued their search, NBC New York reported. The search was suspended at 5 pm local time on Saturday and was set to continue on Sunday morning.
JoJo K. John, 35, has been arrested and will be arraigned in an area hospital on counts including vehicular manslaughter in the first degree, according to Rockland County Undersheriff Robert Van Cura.
A woman's body was discovered adrift and without a life jacket not far south of the bridge, Van Cura said at a press conference on Saturday. Police will continue searching for a second missing body. The body has not been identified, officials said.
The Coast Guard said six people were on a 21-foot Stingray near Piermont, N.Y., when it hit the barge at around 10:40 p.m. local time on Friday evening in the vicinity of the Tappan Zee Bridge.
The accident happened shortly after the boat left Piermont for a short trip across the river to Tarrytown, Rockland County Sheriff's Department Chief William Barbera said at a news conference on Saturday morning, according to the Associated Press.
"While the Rockland County Sheriff, N.Y. State Police and U.S. 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 NY Bridge Project,” said Brian Conybeare, special advisor to the governor, in a statement.
The missing woman, identified by family members as Lindsey Stewart, 30, was to get married on Aug. 10, and the man, identified as Mark Lennon, was supposed to be the best man in the wedding, relatives told NBC New York.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families during this difficult time," Conybeare added.
Groom-to-be Brian Bond, 36, is among the four injured passengers, who were described as suffering severe injuries, including head trauma and broken bones. Bond is in “fair” condition at Westchester Medical Center, according to spokesman David Billing.
Some of those injured are awake and providing information to investigators. Bond, however, is currently unable to speak due to his injuries, Walter Kosik, the bride’s stepfather told NBC New York.
Police said that while it would have been dark in the area at the time of the crash, the barge was lit up.
"At this point, Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC, has reported to the Thruway Authority that all Coast Guard lighting requirements were met and that the barges were properly lit Friday night. All lighting was checked Saturday morning and is fully operational at all barge locations associated with the project,” Conybeare said in the statement.
First published July 27 2013, 4:57 PM