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Best man, bride-to-be lost in N.Y. boat crash

Rescue workers on boats search near a construction barge, left, on the Hudson River in Piermont, N.Y. on Saturday, July 27, 2013, where two people fell into the water when their boat struck the barge, according to the Coast Guard.

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By The Associated Press
Saturday, July 27, 2013, 9:54 p.m.

PIERMONT, N.Y. — A speedboat on Friday night slammed into a construction barge on the Hudson River, hurling a bride-to-be and her fiance's best man into the water. They are presumed dead, and the driver of the boat has been charged with vehicular manslaughter, authorities said on Saturday.

Jojo John, 35, of Nyack was charged in his hospital bed, Rockland County Sheriff's Department Chief William Barbera said.

John is suspected of operating the boat while intoxicated, according to Barbera.

Authorities have pulled a woman's body from the water that matches the description of Lindsey Stewart, 30. The bride-to-be was flung into the water near the Tappan Zee Bridge, about a half-hour's drive north of New York City.

Stewart worked for an insurance company. She was set to be married Aug. 10 to an art teacher, Brian Bond. The groom made it to shore but suffered a fractured eye socket. Two other men were hospitalized.

Rescuers haven't found the best man, Mark Lennon, 30.

“The search has been suspended this evening, and the tides have a lot to do with that,” Barbera said. “We'll start again first thing in the morning.”

The crash happened shortly after the boat, a 21-foot Stingray, left the village of Piermont for a short trip across the river to Tarrytown on Friday night, authorities said.

Bond, 35, was knocked unconscious in the crash. When he awoke, he called 911, said Carole Stewart, the mother of the bride to be.

Lindsey Stewart's stepfather, Walter Kosik, said the couple have known each other since they were children and used to go to church together.

“They have been friends the whole time, and they fell in love about 3½ years ago,” Kosik said.

Barbera declined to identify the other people aboard the boat. Authorities did not provide updates on the conditions of the four injured or the nature of their injuries.

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