Jose Fernandez found responsible for fatal boating accident
Former Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez was intoxicated and speeding when he and two others died in a boating accident last September, according to a report issued by police.
As David Ovalle of the Miami Herald reported, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said Thursday that Fernandez would have likely been charged with manslaughter and faced other charges had he lived. Investigators determined that Fernandez was the driver of the boat at the time it crashed into a jetty near South Beach. The boat was traveling more than 65 miles per hour.
“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 stated.
Fernandez’s attorney had said the late ace was on the phone with a witness at the time of the crash, and the witness claimed Fernandez was yelling to the driver of the boat to keep away from the shore. However, investigators say DNA and the physical damage to Fernandez’s body prove he was operating the vessel when it crashed. The call Fernandez’s attorney alluded to allegedly took place 12 minutes before the accident.
Relatives of 27-year-old Emilio Jesus Macias and 25-year-old Eduardo Rivero, the two other men who died in the crash, have filed negligence lawsuits against Fernandez’s estate.
As we learned from the eery text messages that Rivero sent to a friend shortly before the fatal crash (read them here), Fernandez was stressed about something before he took his boat out. He is said to have called several people — including many of his teammates — and asked them to join him because he needed to blow off some steam.