The investigation into the boating accident that claimed Jose Fernandez’s life as well as everyone else on board has concluded.
According to investigators from the FL Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Fernandez, who was driving his boat at the time it crashed in Miami, was drunk and high on cocaine. The boat was traveling at 66mph in the pitch black. Fernandez was reckless and is to blame for the accident and had he survived the crash, he would likely have been charged with a host of crimes including manslaughter.
Jose Fernandez’ blood alcohol level was almost twice the legal limit and his blood tested positive for traces of cocaine. Officials say Jose and his crew, Emilio Macias and Eduardo Rivero, were boozing at a local bar before the crash.
For investigators, the physical injuries were key in determining that Fernandez was behind the wheel.
There was damage to the compass at the helm next to the steering wheel, which showed it was “the mechanism of injury for Fernandez’s extensive jaw damage.” His blood was also found next to the compass. Rivero had wounds on his forehead that could only have come from fishing rod holders located behind the skipper’s seat and physical evidence shows that Macias was standing next to the center console and was hurled from boat.
“There was no evidence found to indicate either Emilio Macias or Eduardo Rivero were possible operators” of the boat, the report concluded.
The report will be vital to the civil lawsuit filed by relatives of Macias and Rivero against the pitcher’s estate. An attorney for their families, Christopher Royer, had the following to say:
“Though fault has been determined officially, the families of Emilio and Eduardo are not vindictive and simply hope that an amicable settlement of the lawsuit can be reached between the parties as swiftly as possible so as not to prolong the final closure for the many people who have been impacted.
“The Rivero and Macias families have also lost their sons in the prime of their lives. Whatever happens, there are no winners in this matter, simply losses — those of the lives of three fine young men.”
Each lawsuit is seeking $2 million.