The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

July 29, 2013

2nd body found in NY river where best man fell in

Peirmont —

PIERMONT, N.Y. (AP) — A day after a bride-to-be was pulled dead from the Hudson River, the body of her fiance's best man was found a mile downstream Sunday, the second victim of a nighttime crash involving a speedboat and a barge north of New York City.

The deadly collision left the groom-to-be grieving for his intended and his best friend, while facing surgery for his own injuries as another friend is charged with manslaughter — two weeks before the wedding day.

"I don't think you can put words to what we have to tell these families," Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco said as he announced that a body believed to be that of Mark Lennon, 30, the best man, was found Sunday morning.

At the church where Lindsey Stewart and Brian Bond, both 30, would have been married Aug. 10, the pastor said their lives "were filled with hopes and dreams, and that has been snuffed away."

Stewart, Bond, Lennon and three others were on a speedboat that crashed Friday night into a barge holding equipment for the construction of a replacement for the Tappan Zee.

The group had left the village of Piermont for a short trip aboard the 21-foot Stingray across the river to Tarrytown, about 30 miles north of New York City, authorities said.

Police said it was being piloted by Jojo John, 35, of Nyack, whom they suspect was intoxicated and who has been charged with vehicular manslaughter and vehicular assault.

Stewart and Lennon were thrown off the boat. When the bodies were found, they did not have life vests on, said Sheriff's Department Chief William Barbera.

Bond, John and two others, whose names have not been made public because they are witnesses, were injured and hospitalized.

One of the witnesses has been released from the hospital, Falco said Sunday. Mitchell Turk, a friend of Bond's family, said Bond would be undergoing surgery on Monday.

Turk, of Orangetown, said he visited with Bond's mother on Sunday at her Pearl River home.

"It's sad and quiet there, long faces," he said. "They're trying to carry on, doing as well as can be expected. I'm a little shaken. When you think of what they've lost, a daughter-in-law, Brian injured, it's tough."

Turk's daughter, Sheryl Palacio, said she has known Bond, an art teacher, all her life.

"He's an outstanding teacher, a wonderful, kind, respectful man," she said.

She said Lennon was Bond's best friend and John was "his other best friend." She described the suspect as "a good man, happy and loving."

She said John "would never, ever want to put his friends in danger."

"I just hope Brian is able to move past this," she added.

It was not clear if John had an attorney. Falco said a mug shot of John released Sunday was from a previous arrest, but he would not elaborate.

At Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Pearl River, where Stewart and Bond had planned to get married, the Rev. John Havrilla said he remembered them as children. He told The Journal News that Stewart, who worked for an insurance company, was an important part of the congregation.

"Her loss, and the wedding, just makes this even more of a heartache," he said.

Falco said the body believed to be Lennon's was discovered by a person on a recreational watercraft who then called 911. Twelve search boats were on the water at the time. The county medical examiner will have to officially identify both bodies but police feel sure they are Stewart's and Lennon's.

The sheriff said the barge's lighting would be part of the investigation of the crash. Authorities have said the barge was equipped with lights, but it was still difficult to see on the water late at night.

A spokesman for the $3.9 billion bridge project said the barges were properly lit Friday night, but lighting has since been added.

"We will determine if those barges were lit properly and if it was a factor," Falco said.

Pre-construction work related to the new bridge was suspended for the weekend but is to resume Monday.

 

1
Text Only
State and Nation
Poll

What is your favorite Easter candy?

Chocolate bunnies
Marshmallow chicks
Chocolate eggs with filling
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: Royal Couple Visits Australia Mountains Raw: Pro-Russian Militants Killed on Base Captain of Sunken South Korean Ferry Apologizes Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing Raw: Blast at Tennessee Ammunition Plant Kills 1 Hoax Bomb Raises Anxiety in Boston Egypt Clamps Down on Mosques to Control Message After Fukushima, Japan Eyes Solar Power New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Ex-California City Leader Gets 12 Year Sentence Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee