Boat Operator in Fatal Hudson River Crash Admitted to Drinking, Officials Say
[ubermenu-map address=”Tappan Zee Bridge, New York” zoom=”14″ width=”375px” height=”375px”]
A prosecutor said in court on November 20 that the man accused of causing a boat accident on the Hudson River in July, killing a bride-to-be and her fiancé’s best man, admitted to “drinking all day” at the time of the collision. According to Rockland County District Attorney Stephen Moore, Jojo John, 35, told police that he was drinking after the accident with a construction barge that took two lives. Moore made the full disclosure of John’s confession during the operator’s arraignment.
John pleaded not guilty to all 18 counts against him, which included vehicular manslaughter and operating a vessel under the influence. On July 26, John was operating a boat about 30 miles north of Manhattan on the Hudson River carrying a wedding party when he collided with a construction barge near the Tappan Zee Bridge, killing two on board. The bride-to-be’s wedding was only two weeks away. According to prosecutors, John had almost twice the legal limit of alcohol in his system at the time of the collision. Moore told the judge that John said “it was my fault” and “I’ve been drinking all day” when talking with first responders. However, John and his defense have disputed the toxicology findings and continue to argue that drinking did not cause the crash, but rather the poorly lit construction barges are to blame. The U.S. Coast Guard said the barge was properly lit at the time of the accident, however the Thruway Authority, which is building the bridge, has added lights since the accident. John’s next court date is set for January 3.
What Do I Do After A Drunk Boating Accident?
Drunken boating accidents kill thousands of people every year. Alcohol is involved in more than one-third of all boating accidents in the U.S., according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The laws against drinking and boating are often difficult to enforce, and the Coast Guard and state authorities often have a tough time getting justice for injured victims of these boating accidents. An experienced maritime trial lawyer can help you figure out the next steps to get compensation for your drunken boating injuries. Schedule a consultation with our nationwide maritime trial lawyers today to discuss your options.
Latti & Anderson’s Little Extra: According to the Coast Guard, alcohol was the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents in the U.S. in 2012.
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