Hudson River boat victims' parents blame bad lighting on barge - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

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>>

  • Caesars enters New York casino competition

    Caesars enters New York casino competition

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:52 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:52:22 GMT
    Caesars Entertainment entered the competition to open a casino in upstate New York on Tuesday with a proposal to build a $750 million complex 50 miles north of New York City. The complex would include a casino, a hotel and a meeting space and would be located in Woodbury, in Orange County. The Las Vegas-based Caesars, which operates 52 casinos around the world, has submitted a $1 million casino license application fee to state gambling regulators.
    Caesars Entertainment entered the competition to open a casino in upstate New York on Tuesday with a proposal to build a $750 million complex 50 miles north of New York City. The complex would include a casino, a hotel and a meeting space and would be located in Woodbury, in Orange County. The Las Vegas-based Caesars, which operates 52 casinos around the world, has submitted a $1 million casino license application fee to state gambling regulators.
  • Lawsuit: ex-Buffalo Bills cheerleaders were exploited, groped

    Lawsuit: ex-Buffalo Bills cheerleaders were exploited, groped

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 8:08 PM EDT2014-04-23 00:08:06 GMT
    Buffalo Bills / NFLBuffalo Bills / NFL
    Five former Buffalo Bills cheerleaders on Tuesday sued the team over a pay system they say had them working hundreds of hours for free at games and at mandatory public appearances at which they were subjected to groping and sexual comments, and one said they had to take a jiggle test so their boss could see how firm their bodies were. The state Supreme Court lawsuit is the third filed this year against a National Football League team by cheerleader...
    Five former Buffalo Bills cheerleaders on Tuesday sued the team over a pay system they say had them working hundreds of hours for free at games and at mandatory public appearances at which they were subjected to groping and sexual comments, and one said they had to take a jiggle test so their boss could see how firm their bodies were. The state Supreme Court lawsuit is the third filed this year against a National Football League team by cheerleader...
  • Airbnb fights NY attorney general's subpoena

    Airbnb fights NY attorney general's subpoena

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:06 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:06:24 GMT
    Renting out someone's apartment is an easy way to get an inexpensive place to stay if you're a tourist, and cheaper and more convenient than most hotels. But now the government is stepping in and trying to get a handle on a booming business that may not be playing by the rules. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is squaring off in court with multi-million dollar Internet company Airbnb.
    Renting out someone's apartment is an easy way to get an inexpensive place to stay if you're a tourist, and cheaper and more convenient than most hotels. But now the government is stepping in and trying to get a handle on a booming business that may not be playing by the rules. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is squaring off in court with multi-million dollar Internet company Airbnb.
Powered by WorldNow

KDFW FOX 4
400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices