PIERMONT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A body found Sunday in the Hudson River was believed to be a would-be best man, who had been missing and presumed dead after his boat crashed into a barge.
The body found Sunday afternoon was believed to be that of Mark Lennon, 30, who had been missing since the boat crashed into a group of barges on Friday night. The body was first spotted by a jet skier on Sunday, more than a day-and-a-half after Lennon went missing.
Both bodies have been taken to the area Medical Examiner’s office, according to an Associated Press report.
Four others, including her would-be groom, were seriously injured in the accident on the Hudson River near the Tappan Zee Bridge.
As CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported, Stewart’s family said she had been looking forward with great anticipation to getting married at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Pearl River. It was the very church where she had met the man who was supposed to be her husband – Brian Bond, 35 – who was hospitalized with a head injury after the accident.
“They knew each other since 10-years-old, they used to go to church together and they’ve been friends the whole time and fell in love about 3-and-a-half years ago,” Stewart’s step-father Walter Kosik told CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell.
But on Sunday, Stewart’s family was in mourning.
“I can’t talk about it right now. I’m sorry,” said Stewart’s mother, Carol Stewart-Kosik. “Lindsey was getting married two weeks from today.”
As WCBS 880’s Ginny Kosola reported, the Rev. John Havrilla at Good Shepherd said he was asking God for special grace for everyone to get through the tragedy. John Rey, who attends the church and has two daughters who went to school with Stewart, said his family is taking it all very hard.
“Sometimes things like this make you open your eyes as a young person that life is so short, you need to be careful of what you do,” he said. “I believe in that.”
Stewart, Lennon, and Bond had been out to dinner on Friday night shortly before the accident, CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported. The boat had been heading toward Tarrytown.
The bride, best man, and groom-to-be and three other members of the wedding party were aboard the 21-foot Stingray speedboat when it crashed into three barges tied together in the river Friday night. The barges were involved in the construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge about 200 feet north of the scene.
Stewart and Lennon were ejected.
Meanwhile, vehicular manslaughter charges were filed Saturday afternoon against Jojo K. John, 35, of Nyack, in connection with the accident. He was the primary operator of the boat.
“We have probable cause to believe he was intoxicated, and that’s the basis of the charge,” said Rockland County Undersheriff Robert VanCura.
Family and were friends remained shocked by the groups decision to ride with an apparently drunk boat driver.
“For him to get behind the wheel like that, I don’t know what they were thinking about,” friend Bob Schultz said.
Family members told CBS 2 that Lennon loved the outdoors.
“He enjoyed life, he loved the outdoors,” Lennon’s brother Raymond said, “It wasn’t a surprise to me or the family that he took the time to get on the boat.”
There were questions Sunday morning as to whether there was another factor.
“The barge had some lights on it,” VanCura said. “Whether or not it was properly lighted is part of the investigation.”
The State of New York, which is overseeing the construction project for the new Tappan Zee Bridge, insisted that adequate lighting was being used.
“Tappan Zee Constructors reported to the Thruway Authority that all Coast Guard lighting requirements were met and that the barges were properly lit Friday night,” said Brian Conybeare, special advisor to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the New New York Bridge Project.
But as a precaution, extra lights were added Saturday night.
Meanwhile, the families of the victims were grieving for the lives now changed and the wedding that was to be.
“This poor guy has lost his bride-to-be and his best friend,” said Anthony Fowler, a friend of the victim.
The search for best man Lennon resumed at 10 a.m. Groom Bond was in stable condition with serious head injuries Sunday morning.
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