Entries in Hudson River (8)


Hudson River Boat Crash: Body Believed to Be Best Man Found

iStockphoto(NEW YORK) -- Searchers found a body Sunday believed to be the best man in a wedding party, who along with a bride-to-be was thrown overboard from a speed boat that slammed into a barge on the Hudson River, police said.

Mark Lennon, 30, has been missing since he and the future bride were ejected from a 21-foot Stingray powerboat in the Hudson River that struck three connected barges in the water by the Tappan Zee Bridge in Piermont, N.Y., at approximately 10:40 p.m. Friday night.

Authorities said six people were onboard the boat, including groom-to-be Brian Bond, 35, and his fiancée, 30-year-old Lindsay Stewart. The group was on their way to Tarrytown, N.Y., when the accident occurred.

A man on a personal water craft saw the body Sunday morning and called 911, Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco said.

The body has not been positively identified, but Falco said officials believe it is Lennon.

Rescue crews found what appeared to be a female body floating on the surface of the water without a life jacket Saturday morning. It is believed to be the body of Stewart, but officials have not yet confirmed it is her.

Jojo John, 35, of Nyack, N.Y., the operator of the boat, was arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter and vehicular assault. Officials said they believe John was drunk behind the wheel of the boat when the crash occurred.

"At this point, we have probable cause to believe [John] operated the boat while intoxicated, and that's the basis for the charge," Rockland County Undersheriff Robert Van Cura said.

John was arraigned in his hospital bed and was ordered to be held on $250,000 bond, ABC New York station WABC-TV reported.

Bond, John and two other men onboard were injured in the accident and taken to local hospitals. Bond was knocked unconscious and suffered a fractured eye socket, WABC-TV reported. When he regained consciousness, he called 911 to report the crash.

The future bride and the best man at her wedding, just two weeks away, were reported missing after the crash.

Stewart and Bond were to be married on Aug. 10, Stewart's mother said.

"It can't end like this," Stewart's mother, Carol Stewart, told WABC-TV.


Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Bride-to-Be, Best Man Feared Dead After Hudson River Boat Accident

iStockphoto(NEW YORK) -- A bride-to-be and her fiancé’s best man are still missing after they fell overboard when their boat hit a barge in New York's Hudson River Friday night, and officials have arrested the driver of the boat on suspicion of being intoxicated.

On Saturday afternoon, officials recovered the body of a woman from the water, though they did not confirm that it was the missing bride, 30-year-old Lindsey Stewart.

Rockland County Sheriff Robert Van Cura announced Saturday afternoon that the operator of the boat, JoJo John has been arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter. Van Cura said the sheriff’s office had probable cause to believe John was intoxicated when he was driving the boat.

The missing bride and best man were in a 21-foot Stingray powerboat along with four other people, including the groom-to-be, when they hit a barrage moored near the Tappan Zee Bridge.

“It was actually the barge that we believe was struck, is actually 3 barges that are tied together and they're part of the Tappan Zee Bridge construction project,” said Sheriff Van Cura. “They have building materials and materials for the pilings for the new bridge on the deck of the barges.”

“It was very dark out there [Friday] night and very difficult to see the barges in the water,” Van Cura said.

Stewart and the best man, who has not yet been named, are believed to have been thrown from the boat. The other four passengers were knocked unconscious, and suffered head injuries.

Carol Stewart, the bride-to-be's mother, says her daughter's fiancé notified authorities.

“They hit something. He called 911,” she said. “He was unconscious, reached for his phone when he came to. There were three people on the boat with him out cold.”

The two were supposed to get married in just a few weeks. The families of the bride and groom are both from the community of Piermont, N.Y. The couple knew each other from church going back a considerable period of time and were getting married after a long friendship and courtship.

“It just can't end like this,” Stewart said.

On Saturday morning, after a night spent attempting to locate and rescue the missing people, Sheriff Van Cura announced that the department was now considering it a recovery effort. The search was suspended again Saturday at 5 p.m. Officials have still not confirmed the identity of the woman’s body found earlier in the afternoon, and have not announced the recovery of any other bodies.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


NJ Pilot 'Had Faith' She, Passenger Would Survive NY River Crash

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Even as the plane she was piloting plummeted toward the frigid waters of New York's Hudson River, Denise De Priester Kok remained calm, cool and collected.

“I had faith in my skills,” Kok told ABC News.  “I had faith in God and I had faith in us as a team [that] together we are going to survive this."

Kok’s “teammate” in the plane was her only passenger, Chris Smidt, 43, of Colonia, N.J.  He and Kok, 39, of East Windsor, N.J., had just departed from an airport in New Jersey on a sightseeing tour around 5:00 p.m. Sunday when their Piper PA-32 plane began experiencing engine failure.

As the pair flew over the Hudson River, somewhere near the George Washington Bridge, the plane began to descend, dropping 400 feet in five seconds, according to ABC News affiliate WABC-TV.

“I was focused like a robot on the landing because it was dark and difficult,” Kok said.

The commercial pilot and certified flight instructor landed the plane smoothly in the Hudson but soon she and Smidt faced another problem.  The plane began to fill with water.

“We’re in the water now but it’s filling up so we’re going to have to bail,” Smidt told rescuers in recently released 911 calls.  “We’re going to the rear of the plane.  The plane is filling up.”

Kok and Smidt abandoned the plane and plunged into the Hudson.  Wearing life vests, they were able to survive nearly 30 minutes in the freezing water before being rescued.

“My adrenaline was spiking so much I was just swimming like I was in the tropics,” Kok said, all the while keeping her calm.

“There wasn’t one second that she wasn’t positive and kept me going,” Smidt said.  “Her training took over right away.”

Kok and Smidt were spotted by a rescue boat piloted by an off-duty police officer who, along with his 12-year-old son, pulled the pair to safety.

“My dad has always told me to be brave and never be scared of helping someone,” said the 12-year-old, Danny Higgins.

Kok and Smidt were treated for hypothermia at a nearby medical center and released.  The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


LISTEN: 911 Call Shows Terror of NY River Plane Crash

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The newly released 911 call from the small plane that crashed in New York’s Hudson River Sunday night shows the terror inside the cockpit as the passenger and pilot struggled to save their lives.

“We’re in the water now but it’s filling up so we’re going to have to bail,” passenger Christopher Smidt told the 911 dispatcher.  “We’re going to the rear of the plane.  The plane is filling up.”

“We’re in the middle of the Hudson River,” he said.  “We’re in the plane.  The plane is taking on water.”

Smidt, 43, of Colonia, N.J., then yelled to the pilot, Denise De Priester Kok, 39, of East Windsor, N.J., to jump into the chilly river waters.

“The plane is going down.  Let’s go.  Get out. Get out. Going head first,” he said.  “Ahhh….The water is freezing.”

Smidt and De Priester Kok’s Piper PA-32 plane went down around 5:30 p.m. Sunday after taking off from the Trenton-Robbinsville Airport in Robbinsville, N.J., on a sightseeing tour.

Wearing life vests, Smidt and De Priester Kok were able to survive nearly 30 minutes in the freezing water before being rescued.  They were treated for hypothermia at a nearby medical center and released, according to officials.

Among the pair’s rescuers were an off-duty police officer who, along with his 12-year-old son, piloted a boat out to Smidt and De Priester Kok’s location.

“[We] saw the victims in the water and they appeared to be in a state of hypothermia, going into shock,” said Daniel Higgins Sr.

“My dad has always told me to be brave and never be scared of helping someone,” added his son, Danny.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


'Miracle on the Hudson': Co-Pilot Sees Wreckage Four Years Later

Chris McGrath/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Four years ago on Tuesday, US Airways Flight 1549 had to make an emergency landing in New York's Hudson River after the plane hit a flock of Canadian Geese and lost engine power.

In what's been deemed the "Miracle on the Hudson," Capt. Chesley Sully Sullenberger managed to land the aircraft safely on the river, saving the lives of the 155 passengers and crew members on board.

Today, the plane sits in a museum in Charlotte, N.C.  Jeff Skiles, the co-pilot of the flight, checked out the wreckage for the first time on Monday.

"It really is something to see frankly all the damage to it.  Because I never saw that," he said.

Skiles said that "everybody's life has changed in some way or another" from the Jan. 15, 2009 incident.

"I think or hope anyways for most of us it's been a good change. I know it has been for me," he said.

While he is currently on leave from US Airways to pursue other aviation interests, Skiles said he plans to return.

"When it comes down it I'm an airline pilot and in two years I'll be back in the cockpit at US Airways," he said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Three Children Killed in Hudson River Plunge Are Buried as Families Feud

George Doyle/Thinkstock(SPRING VALLEY, N.Y.) -- The three youngest children of LaShanda Armstrong, the New York woman who drove a minivan into the Hudson River with herself and her four children inside, were laid to rest Monday as emotions boiled over between her relatives and their father's family.

Police helped funeral staff keep the families separated as mourners attended Monday's service in Spring Valley, N.Y., for Landen Pierre, 5; Lance Pierre, 2; and Lainaina Pierre, nearly 1. The boys were dressed in dark suits; Lainaina was dressed in white.

The three were killed when Armstrong, 25, drove her minivan off a boat ramp April 12 in Newburgh, N.Y., minutes after arguing with her boyfriend and their father, Jean Pierre. La'Shaun Armstrong, 10, the eldest of Armstrong's children and a son from a previous relationship, survived by escaping through a window.

A joint service for Armstrong and the three children had been planned, but last week Pierre said he would hold a separate service for the children. They were not buried in the same cemetery as Armstrong, relatives told WABC-TV Monday.

One family member said Armstrong's relatives were angry about that decision. "We're all still dealing with everything and coping with it," the relative said.

At Monday's service, the Armstrongs were forced to wait outside. They stood on one side of the lawn in front of the Alphonso E. Brown Funeral Home as Pierre and his family and friends were escorted into the building. Armstrong's mother was allowed to view the children, but then returned outside to be with family.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


Police Say Mother Drove into New York River, Drowning Herself and Three Children

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEWBURGH, N.Y.) -- A New York mother drove her minivan into the Hudson River Tuesday night, drowning herself and three of her children on board, according to police.

Authorities said the mother drove the vehicle off a dock in Newburgh, about 60 miles north of New York City.  When rescue teams later recovered the van from the river, all the victims -- the mother, her two sons, ages 5 and 2, and her 11-month-old daughter -- were found dead inside.  Their names have not yet been released.

According to the Times Herald-Record, Newburgh officials were alerted to the incident by a 10-year-old boy, who they believe was the woman's fourth child and let out of the vehicle before it submerged.  The newspaper says the boy appeared at a nearby fire station and told firefighters what had happened.

Earlier, police had responded to a report of a domestic dispute.  They believe it may be linked to the incident, the newspaper reported.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Vintage Jet Crashes into Hudson, Pilot Feared Dead

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images (file)(KINGSTON, N.Y.) -- Rescue workers fear that the pilot of a vintage military jet that crashed into the Hudson River Saturday may be dead.

ABC News New York affiliate WABC-TV reports that 38-year-old Michael Faraldi was en route to Kingston-Ulster Airport from an airfield in Johnstown, Penn., when he crashed. The British-made BAC 167 Strikemaster reportedly made a low pass at the landing strip before hitting an ice-covered stretch of the Hudson between Albany and New York City.

Rescue workers were unable to locate Faraldi following the crash and a search was suspended late in the evening.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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