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Funeral held for bride-to-be killed in N.Y. boat crash

August 01, 2013|By Tina Susman

Family members, friends, and her badly injured fiance attended the funeral Thursday of a young woman who was mourned in the same church where she was to have been married this month, before a boat crash on the Hudson River killed her and the would-be best man.

Lindsey Stewart, 30, was out with close friends, including fiance Brian Bond, on Friday night when the speedboat they were traveling in slammed into a barge near the Tappan Zee Bridge, about 25 miles north of New York City.

Stewart and Mark Lennon, who was to be the best man at Stewart and Bond's Aug. 10 wedding, were thrown from the boat and killed.

Bond, an elementary school art teacher, was able to attend the service for Stewart at a church in Pearl River, N.Y. According to some media reports, he blew a kiss at his fiancee’s casket.

Lennon’s funeral is scheduled for Friday as investigators try to determine what caused the crash: an intoxicated boat operator, an improperly lit barge on the water, excessive speed, or a combination of the three.

Law enforcement authorities have charged the man who was steering the boat, Jojo John, with vehicular manslaughter and vehicular assault, but in a statement this week, families of the victims cautioned against jumping to judgment against John and said that the barge was not lit enough to be visible that night.

Police have said John had been drinking, but the parents of Stewart and Lennon said they had spoken with the four people who survived the incident and did not believe anyone on the boat was drunk. The relatives also said that nobody had seen the barge before impact, although the Coast Guard has said the barge, which held construction material for nearby bridge work, had the required lights.

“Our conversations with some of the survivors of this accident, including Brian Bond, make two things quite clear,” the parents’ statement said. “The passengers on the boat -- all mature, respected professionals in their thirties -- had consumed very little alcohol and considered themselves sober. None of them ever saw the barge. They did not brace for impact and could not identify what they had hit -- even after impact.”

Stewart’s mother, Carol Kosik-Stewart, was among the speakers at her daughter’s funeral. “Tragedy is a word that will forever be linked with Lindsey and Mark,” she said, according to media reports from within the church.

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