Man Charged in Hudson River Boat Crash That Left Bride, Best Man Missing
Officials said what appeared to be a female body was recovered near the shore.
July 27, 2013— -- A man was charged today with vehicular manslaughter in a boat crash on the Hudson River in which a bride-to-be and the best man in her wedding party were thrown overboard and disappeared in the dark river, officials said.
Jojo John, 35, of Nyack, N.Y., the operator of the boat, was charged with vehicular manslaughter and vehicular assault. Officials said he was arraigned in his hospital bed.
Officials made the announcement of the charge hours after they said a woman's body had been found floating on the surface of the Hudson River near where the crash occurred Friday night.
Authorities said six people were on a 21-foot Stingray powerboat in the Hudson River on their way to Tarrytown, N.Y., at approximately 10:40 p.m. Friday night when they struck three connected barges in the water by the Tappan Zee Bridge in Piermont, N.Y.
Four men onboard, including 35-year-old groom-to-be Brian Bond, were injured in the accident and taken to local hospitals, ABC New York station WABC-TV reported.
The future bride, Lindsay Stewart, and the best man at her wedding, just two weeks away, were reported missing after the crash.
What appeared to be a female body was found adrift on the surface of the water and did not have a life jacket strapped on, authorities said. It is unclear whether the body recovered has been identified as Stewart's.
Rescuers are continuing to search for the missing man.
The future groom was knocked unconscious in the accident and suffered a fractured eye socket, WABC-TV reported. When he regained consciousness, he called 911 to report the crash.
The barges were stationed and lit with anchor lights but it was difficult to see them on the water Friday night, Piedmont Fire Department Assistant Chief Daniel Goswick said in a news conference this morning.
Although Goswick characterized the search this morning as a recovery, other officials backtracked and said rescuers were still searching for the missing people.
Stewart, 30, is to be married on August 10, her mother said.
"It can't end like this," Stewart's mother, Carol Stewart, told WABC-TV.
Officials said they are still investigating the cause of the accident, as well as whether the owner was aboard the boat when it crashed.
It is not known if alcohol was a factor in the crash.