A 36-year-old Nyack resident was sentenced Tuesday for the deaths of two friends after he crashed his speedboat into a construction barge near the Tappan Zee Bridge while under the influence of alcohol last year.
On July 26, 2013, JoJo John, who now faces two years in Rockland County Jail for pleading guilty on two counts of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, took a group of friends out for a boat ride to Tarrytown after dinner and drinks at a restaurant in Piermont. Official tests confirmed at the time of the crash, John’s blood-alcohol level exceeded 0.15 percent—nearly twice the legal limit. Bride-to-be Lindsey Stewart, 30, of Piermont and Mark Lennon, 30, of Pearl River, her fiancé’s best man, were killed in the crash. John and groom-to-be Brian Bond survived the crash with serious injuries.
The Journal News reports that District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said that the crash was a direct consequence of John’s intoxication combined with the speed that he was boating at, although he did also mention that the barge lighting could have been stronger.
Following the fatal crash, questions have arisen over safety issues on the Hudson River and both the Lennon and Stewart families are subsequently suing the barge operators as well as John for the death of their respective family members. John’s primary defense was that the construction barge was poorly lit.