Report: Marlins’ Jose Fernandez to blame for fatal boating crash
Investigators have determined that Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez was behind the wheel and was at fault when his boat plowed into a jetty off South Beach, killing two others.
A police report released Thursday indicated Fernandez was speeding at the time of the accident. Toxicology reports confirmed that Fernandez had cocaine and alcohol in his system at the time of the crash.
Fernandez’s attorney’s maintained throughout the investigation that Fernandez was not driving the boat when it crashed.
Investigators determined Fernandez was driving the boat because of damage on the boat’s console and the condition of Fernandez’s body. DNA from Fernandez was also found on the boat’s throttle and steering wheel, the report shows.
Had Fernandez lived, he would likely have been charged with a host of crimes including manslaughter, according to the final report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Miami Herald reported.
“Fernandez operated [the boat] with his normal faculties impaired, in a reckless manner, at an extreme high rate of speed, in the darkness of the night, in an area with known navigational hazards such as rock jetties and channel markers,” the report concluded.
Marlins team president David Samson released a statement, saying: “No matter what the report has concluded, nothing will ever diminish Jose’s everlasting positive connection with Miami and the Miami Marlins. Nor can it lessen the love and passion he felt for his family, friends, teammates and all his fans in South Florida and around the world.”
The release of the report comes nearly six months after Fernandez and two others were killed when the pitcher’s boat plowed into a jetty at Government Cut off South Beach just before down on Sept. 25.
Two others on the boat with him, Emilio Jesus Macias, 27, and Eduardo Rivero, 25, also were killed.