Thursday October 8th, 2015 11:18PM

Manslaughter charge filed in Hudson boat crash

By The Associated Press
PIERMONT, N.Y. (AP) -- A deadly nighttime speedboat crash on the Hudson River hurled a bride-to-be and her fiance's best man into the water and left the groom and three others injured, including a friend charged with vehicular manslaughter on Saturday, just two weeks before the couple was to exchange their vows.<br /> <br /> Six friends were on board the boat Friday night when it struck a barge near the Tappan Zee Bridge, sending Lindsey Stewart and Mark Lennon, both 30, into the water and injuring the other four, including groom-to-be Brian Bond, officials said.<br /> <br /> A body matching Stewart's description was recovered Saturday while Lennon is presumed dead, Rockland County Sheriff's Department Chief William Barbera said. The search for Lennon's body will resume Sunday.<br /> <br /> "The search has been suspended this evening and the tides have a lot to do with that," Barbera said. "We'll start again first thing in the morning."<br /> <br /> Authorities charged the boat's operator, Jojo John, 35, of Nyack, with vehicular manslaughter and vehicular assault. He was arraigned from a hospital bed and ordered held on $250,000 bond, Barbera said. John is suspected of operating the boat while intoxicated but authorities are still awaiting the result of blood tests.<br /> <br /> Attempts to reach John's family were not immediately successful and it was not clear if he had an attorney.<br /> <br /> Earlier Saturday, authorities pulled a woman's body from the water that matched Stewart's description. Officials were working to confirm that the body was Stewart's but it was unclear how long that could take.<br /> <br /> Stewart and Lennon were thrown from the boat when it struck a barge carrying materials for the construction of a replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge, about a half-hour's drive north of New York City.<br /> <br /> The boat, a 21-foot Stingray, had left the village of Piermont for a short trip across the river to Tarrytown, authorities said.<br /> <br /> Stewart, of Piermont, worked for an insurance company. She and Bond were set to be married Aug. 10, family members said.<br /> <br /> Bond was knocked unconscious in the crash but later woke and was able to call 911, Stewart's mother, Carol said.<br /> <br /> Stewart's stepfather, Walter Kosik, said the couple have known each other since they were young children and used to go to church together.<br /> <br /> "They have been friends the whole time, and they fell in love about 3 1/2 years ago," Kosik said.<br /> <br /> They were to be married at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Pearl River, with a reception at a vineyard in Hillburn, he said.<br /> <br /> Barbera declined to identify the other people aboard the boat and had no information on their conditions. He said the barge was equipped with lights, but it was still difficult to see on the water late at night.<br /> <br /> The New York State Thruway Authority, which is overseeing the bridge project, said it was reviewing safety procedures.<br /> <br /> "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families during this difficult time," the authority said in a statement. It added that the lighting on the barges appeared to be functioning normally.<br /> <br /> Stewart's former English teacher at Pearl River High School, who remained in contact with her through Facebook, called the accident "heartbreaking."<br /> <br /> "She was one of my students and a bright, sweet girl loved by everyone," said Doreen Arney. "I knew that she was getting married, and to Brian. To happen to two such special kids - it just shouldn't happen."
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia
After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
7:04PM ( 1 year ago )
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 1 year ago )
Kerry seeks framework for Mideast peace talks
A senior State Department official says Secretary of State John Kerry will try this week to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a framework for negotiating a final peace agreement, yet cautions against raising expectations for Kerry's latest round of shuttle diplomacy.
1:35PM ( 1 year ago )
Consumer confidence rises on better job outlook
U.S. consumer confidence jumped this month on a better outlook for hiring and growth, supporting other signs that show the economy could accelerate in 2014.
11:17AM ( 1 year ago )
U.S. News
Isakson, Perdue attack part of bill they say sides with Ala. in water wars
Georgia Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue Thursday urged Senate leaders to remove language in the Energy and Water appropriations bill they say is a direct attack on Georgia in its ongoing water dispute with Alabama.
By AccessWDUN staff
6:56PM ( 4 hours ago )
Gainesville property tax bills in the mail
City of Gainesville property owners will be receiving their tax bill this week with a due date of December 7.
By AccessWDUN staff
5:50PM ( 5 hours ago )
D.A.: Moran gets life without parole in Gainesville taxi driver murder
A Gainesville woman was sentenced to life in prison without parole Thursday in murder of a Gainesville taxi driver earlier this year.
2:34PM ( 8 hours ago )
Special Olympics World Games gold medal winner from Gainesville to be honored
A young man from Gainesville, who won a gold medal at the Special Olympics World Games earlier this year, will be honored, along with his parents, in Atlanta next week.
By AccessWDUN staff
12:56PM ( 10 hours ago )
Delta and Alaska rank best for on-time arrivals, Spirit ranks at the bottom
The U.S. Department of Transportation said Thursday that the nation's leading carriers posted an on-time rate of 80.3 percent in August.
12:28PM ( 10 hours ago )