Body found in river where best man vanished

PIERMONT, N.Y. — Authorities say a second body has been pulled from New York’s Hudson River near where a bride-to-be and her fiance’s best man went missing after a boat crash near the Tappan Zee Bridge.

Officials say the body of a man believed to be 30-year-old Mark Lennon was discovered Sunday. A body believed to be that of bride-to-be Lindsey Stewart was found Saturday.

Both bodies have been taken to the medical examiner’s office.

Stewart was set to be married Aug. 10. Lennon was the best man.

Officials say four people, including the groom-to-be, were hospitalized after a speedboat carrying six friends crashed into a construction barge Friday night.

A friend operating the boat, Jojo John, has been charged with vehicular manslaughter. Authorities say he was intoxicated.

—-

PIERMONT, N.Y. — Search boats plied the Hudson River on Sunday for any sign of the planned best man in a wedding who fell into the water after a speedboat carrying members of a bridal party crashed near the Tappan Zee Bridge.

As many as dozen vessels were set to scour the water for 30-year-old Mark Lennon, who is presumed dead, authorities said. A woman’s body found Saturday matches the description of bride-to-be Lindsey Stewart, who was thrown into the river with Lennon after their boat crashed into a construction barge Friday night.

Four other friends, including Stewart’s fiance, Brian Bond, and the boat operator, Jojo John, were hurt and hospitalized.

John, 35, of Nyack, was charged Saturday with vehicular manslaughter and three counts of vehicular assault from a hospital bed, where he was recovering from his injuries in the crash, said William Barbera, chief of the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities say they suspect John was intoxicated at the time of the crash, but they are awaiting results of blood tests.

Attempts to reach John’s family weren’t immediately successful and it wasn’t clear if he had an attorney.

Sheryl Palacio, a high school biology teacher from Valley Cottage, went to the pier Sunday with her two young sons and father and said she knows Bond, an art teacher, and John.

“I’ve known Brian my whole life,” she said. “He’s an outstanding teacher, a wonderful, kind, respectful man. Now his best friend is missing and his other best friend is charged with manslaughter.”

Palacio said John worked as a banker at a local Chase branch and opened accounts for her two boys.

“I just want to make sure everyone knows he was a good man, happy and loving,” she said. “He was always telling me about his nieces and nephews.”

Palacio’s father, Mitchell Turk, of Orangeburg, said he visited with Bond’s mother, Jean, at her home in Pearl River on Sunday.

“It’s sad and quiet there, long faces. They’re trying to carry on, doing as well as can be expected,” Turk said.

The group left the village of Piermont for a short trip aboard the 21-foot Stingray across the river to Tarrytown, about 30 miles north of New York City, authorities said.

The boat struck a barge carrying materials for the construction of a replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge, authorities said. Barbera said the barge was equipped with lights, but it was still difficult to see on the water late at night.

Stewart, of Piermont, worked for an insurance company. She and Bond were to be married at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Pearl River, with a reception at a vineyard in Hillburn, her stepfather, Walter Kosik, said.

The couple had known each other for years and used to go to church together, he said.

“They have been friends the whole time, and they fell in love about 3 ½ years ago,” Kosik said.

The New York State Thruway Authority, which is overseeing the bridge project, said it was reviewing safety procedures. It said the lighting on the barges appeared to be functioning normally.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families during this difficult time,” the authority said in a statement.

More in Local News

Minutes mattered the day Pat Ward was brought back to life

The Mukilteo police and fire chaplain died at breakfast. She got a second chance thanks to a waitress.

Cool additions at an elementary school in Everett

A totem pole and new gardens grace the courtyard of Whittier Elementary School.

Kids suspected in school’s smashed windows and other damage

The cost of the damage at Explorer Middle School in south Everett is estimated to be $5,000.

Recall issued for about 1,250 pounds of meat

Camano Island’s Sausage Haus products might be contaminated.

3 women seek open seat in 39th District

The GOP nominees hope to fill the opening created by the resignation of Republican John Koster.

Lake Stevens High senior has an entrepreneurial mind

John Cramer crafts and sells designer pens to help pay for college

Marysville-Arlington fiber-optic link planned by Comcast

The high-speed internet line, to be ready next year, is seen as a boost for business development.

Second former student files abuse claim against teacher

The woman says Cascade High School’s Craig Verver had sexual contact with her on campus.

Boy stuck in child care instead of going to school

District says it can no longer provide transportation for the special-needs student.

Most Read