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Families Of Hudson River Crash Victims To Launch Memorial Fund For New Lighthouse

Families Blame Poor Lighting For Deadly Crash
Lindsey Stewart, Mark Lennon

Bride-to-be Lindsey Stewart (left) and best man Mark Lennon (right). (credit: CBS 2)

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NANUET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – The families of two people killed after their powerboat slammed into a construction barge beneath the Tappan Zee Bridge in the dark waters of the Hudson River are launching a memorial fund for a new lighthouse.

The families of bride-to-be Lindsey Stewart, 30, and best-man-to-be Mark Lennon, 30, hope the lighthouse could save others’ lives.

On July 26, Stewart and Lennon were with other members of the wedding party, including groom-to-be Brian Bond, 35 – when their boat struck the barge.

Stewart died of head injuries and drowning; Lennon drowned, according to the Rockland County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Bond suffered a head injury in the accident. Three others were also injured.

The pilot of the boat, Jojo John, was charged with vehicular manslaughter and police said they suspect he was intoxicated.

But Stewart’s and Lennon’s parents suggested that poor lighting on the barge and not drunkenness was responsible for the crash.

A family member of the owners of the Tappan Zee Marina, where the boat had departed from, are in favor of the memorial and boaters in Piermont said the light would pierce the nighttime blackness that falls like a curtain just offshore, WCBS 880′s Paul Murnane reported.

“It’s pitch black and if there were no lights on the boat, especially in the boat, it’s dangerous,” one man said.

“It’s very dark and you can’t see what’s going on and the river can be very rough,” one woman said.

“I’m all in favor of it,” another woman said. “As a sailor, I totally endorse the need for some illumination.”

Stewart’s mother, Carol Stewart-Kosik, and Lennon’s brother, Raymond, tell The Journal News they’re planning a web page to promote the lighthouse fundraising effort.

Stewart-Kosik said this week will be hell for the families because Stewart and Bond were to be wed this Saturday.

Now, Stewart-Kosik says, “we’re just going to surround ourselves with family.”

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)